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Tough Indian line on greenhouse norms

India will not abide by any international commitment to mandatory reduction of greenhouse gas emission but wants technology transfer from the West, reports Chetan Chauhan.

india Updated: Nov 01, 2007 03:35 IST
Chetan Chauhan

India will not abide by any international commitment to mandatory reduction of greenhouse gas emission (GHG) but wants technology transfer from the West to voluntarily reduce GHG, according to the proposed national strategy on climate change,

The strategy, framed by the Environment Ministry in consultation with the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change, will soon be circulated to several government ministries, seeking feedback. “We expect to finalise the policy before the Bali negotiations on the post-Kyoto Protocol regime starts in December-end,” said a senior government official.

However, a member of the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change said that they had not seen the draft report yet. “We have been told that a copy of the report would reach us within a fortnight,” the member told the Hindustan Times.

Government officials said the draft policy clearly emphasises on the Indian approach of measuring world GHG on per capita emission rather than country-wise emission, as being propagated by the developed world. Although India is the sixth largest carbon emitter in the world, it has one of the lowest per capita emission rates. Both the United States and Europe have much higher per capita emission rates.

In addition to it, India’s economic growth of about 8.7 per cent has not led to a notable rise in energy consumption — it has seen a 3.7 per cent growth in energy usage. India’s carbon dioxide intensity is the same as Japan and better than developed nations like Germany, according to former Environment Secretary Pradipto Ghosh.

The strategy also talks about the measures India has taken to reduce carbon emission. “It (the draft policy) says fuel price is higher in India in comparison to the US, therefore, India cannot be forced to meet carbon emission reduction targets,” the member said.

The country’s first policy document on climate change was prompted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s fourth assessment report, which was released earlier this year. Ghosh, the lead author of the policy, said that it would include additional responsibility on adoption. He also emphasized that it would require higher allocation, than the present two per cent of GDP to tackle “multi-level climate variability”.

The Western propaganda of carbon capturing and storage (CSS) to check carbon emission from thermal plants has not convinced the government. “Only if the technology is utilized in large-scale power plants everywhere in the world can we consider it,” said Surya P Sethi, principal advisor of the Planning Commission, when asked about the future of CCS in India.