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'Resist US pressure on climate change'

india Updated: Oct 25, 2009 20:58 IST

Accusing the UPA of showing "disturbing signs" of rescinding from earlier position, CPI(M) on Sunday asked the government to firmly resist pressure from the US on climate change negotiations and not accept any target for carbon emission reduction unilaterally.

CPI(M) Central Committee, which adopted resolutions on climate change after a three-day meeting, said India should continue to press for fund and technology transfers from developed to developing countries as compensation for damage caused by "historical emissions".

It also said India should work for freeing of technology transfers from restrictions of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) regime.

"There is an increasing tendency to succumb to pressure from the US and the West. It is evident. There are disturbing signs of rescinding from the stated position," CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat told reporters.

Briefing the deliberations on the issue, he said the central committee felt that official Indian position vis-a-vis the international negotiations, as well as its actions within the country, have been "seriously wanting".

"Far from seriously countering these US-led efforts, the Indian government while formally maintaining that it is sticking to the Kyoto principles, has been giving overt and covert support to the US position in a number of ways," he said.

"Regardless of the recent differences within sections of the government on negotiating positions, with the Minister of Environment and Forests advocating a more blatantly pro-US position, the overall trend is towards India collaborating with the US as part of an overall Indo-US strategic partnership," Karat said.

Noting that India has recently announced a series of measures to conserve energy and reduce emissions, he said unilateral Indian actions alone to reduce emissions will not reduce the impact on the country because climate change is a global phenomenon and not just for one nation.

"On the other hand, India can and should adopt an action plan to reduce emission growth rates, not unilaterally but based on reciprocal actions, i.E., conditional upon the US and other developed countries adopting the deep emission cut goals recommended by the IPCC," Karat said.

Emphasising that energy inequality in India is a major factor in poor human development of a majority, he said, policies should be reoriented specifically to deliver more energy to these sections and should form an integral component of all poverty alleviation endeavours.

"This will inevitably result in increase of emissions that must be compensated by energy conservation measures related to better-off sections of society and sectors of the economy. Corporate India must also adhere to a trajectory that does not damage the environment, people's health and social justice," he said.

Karat accused the developed countries of "blatantly violating" the Kyoto Protocol which set binding emission reduction targets for them, whose cumulative emissions went up by 10 per cent when they had committed to reduce emissions by 5 per cent compared to 1990 baseline levels.

"Emissions from the US which refused to join the Treaty (Kyoto Protocol) went up by a massive 17 per cent. With the dangerously advancing crisis, IPCC has now called upon developed countries to commit to deep emission cuts of 40 per cent by 2020 and 90 per cent by 2050," he said.

Karat said New Delhi should firmly resist pressure from the US and other advanced countries to abandon the Kyoto and UNFCCC framework and sticks to the principles of "common but differentiated" responsibilities for developed and developing countries.

He was of the view that India should work closely with the G-5 group of large developing countries and with the G-77, especially the Least Developed Countries and the Small Island Developing States, and maintain the unity of the developing countries.

"India should move pro-actively on adaptation measures and reduce energy inequality within the country so that India's climate policies serve to advance the interests of the country's poor and protect them from the worst effects of climate change," he added.