Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh has suggested a nuanced shift in India’s climate change position in a note to Prime Minister Manomohan Singh.
But the minister denied that he wanted to junk the Kyoto Protocol and had agreed to emission cuts under an international obligation, as reported in sections of the media.
“There is no question of India agreeing to emission cuts targets or junking the Kyoto Protocol,” Ramesh told Hindustan Times, after a meeting with the prime minister. “We want emission cut targets only for the developed world for 2020-2030 (not for developing nations) and a distinction between the developed and the developing countries as stated in the Kyoto Protocol.”
In the note on the agenda for India’s preparations for Copenhagen (in December this year) that has dismayed climate change negotiators and activists, Ramesh expressed willingness to talk on international mitigation commitments, provided they were supported by finance and technology.
In a deviation from India’s stand on the per capita approach, Ramesh in the note had suggested “a per capita plus” approach, claiming that convergence of only per capita emissions alone is not a sustainable basis for the negotiations.
India had maintained that it would not accept any greenhouse gas reduction targets till its per capita emissions reach the level of developed nations such as United States’. India’s annual per capita emission is 1.1 tonnes as compared to 20.1 tonnes for the United States.
Ramesh’s note speaks of a domestic law on climate change management, which has emission mitigation targets for efficiency in the energy sector and non-fossil based energy supply by 2020-30. The proposed law, which the Environment ministry wants to introduce in the winter session of the Parliament, would for the first time quantify India’s emission reduction targets.
“The question of subjecting what we do to reduce our emissions from our own resources will not be open for international scrutiny,” he said. “The information will be available for discussion and not verification.”