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PM's panel rejects climate action plan

The Council finds gaping holes in the paper made by the 3-member panel, for the Bali conference, reports Chetan Chauhan.

india Updated: Nov 27, 2007 03:29 IST
Chetan Chauhan

The Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change has refused to accept the much-touted national action plan on climate change in its present format before the Bali conference on action to combat global warming.

It was said the plan would provide direction to India’s strategy at the conference but the PM’s council found gaping holes in the strategy paper prepared by a three-member committee which has RK Pachauri, head of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, as one of the members. The other members are environment secretary Meena Gupta and former environment secretary Pradipto Ghosh.

In the absence of a consensus on the action plan, the council gave a direction to the stand India can take at conference that will be hosted by the UN. The council was unanimous that there should be deep winding targets for developed nations and India should ask for clean technology transfers in the energy sector without any riders.

“The new global partnership should be based on equity and India should raise the issue that the developed world has not cut carbon emissions as per the targets specified,” a council member said.

The members also urged Manmohan Singh to see that India takes a lead in the global initiative on climate change while taking new initiatives to check the domestic impact of climate change. “We need to look for out-of-the-box solutions,” another member said.

The 30-page action plan put India’s development expenditure as part of the investment on climate change mitigation and adoption. It also said that improving the lives of India’s poor is best way of checking the impact of climate change. The programmes for climate change mitigation in the 11th Five-Year Plan were also part of the paper.

But many members had issues with the action plan and sought revisions. The PM agreed and asked the committee to incorporate the suggestions of the members and bring the revised action plan to the next meeting.

In the 11th Plan, the government wants to treat climate change as a separate sector. “There would be allocation specifically for climate change to concerned ministries such as the Ministry of Earth Sciences and the Environment Ministry,” said V.L. Chopra, member (environment), Planning Commission.

Chopra, however, said there was a need to develop an “inter-disciplinary mechanism” to ensure a concerted effort to deal with climate change concerns. The Earth Sciences Ministry would be the nodal ministry to look into the science of climate change, he added.