US-China climate deal a surprise for India

  • Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Nov 13, 2014 00:35 IST

United States and China's agreement to reduce carbon emissions would push countries like India to re-jig its climate strategy but it falls short of driving the world to an ambitious climate agreement in Paris by 2015.

The two biggest carbon emitters of the world - US and China - on Wednesday signed an agreement under which US will cut its emissions by 26-28% of 2005 levels by 2025, and China would peak its carbon emissions by 2030 along with generating 20% of its electricity from zero-emission sources.

The deal will also be a talking point at the G-20 summit in Australia starting from November 15. The European Union, which was first to announce emission cuts of 40% by 2030, has already welcomed the deal but the developing world, including India, was not enthused with the secret agreement, saying it was not enough to have a treaty in Paris to limit the increase in global temperature by 2 degrees by the turn of the century.

"The original base level for reducing emissions for rich nations was 1990 and not 2005 as announced by the US. If one makes calculations, the actual emission reduction by the US will be negligible to the 1990 level," a senior Indian climate negotiator said, who was unwilling to be quoted as India has not officially reacted on the deal.

The US promise, if delivered, would mean its carbon emissions would be at 1990 level, much higher than what it told the world when the Kyoto Protocol was agreed upon in 1998. The US eventually didn't sign the agreement as it failed to get it ratified by its Senate.

India which had indicated distancing itself from China in climate talks on insistence of Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu will now have to come up with an independent stand.

Terming the deal as "smart politics" by the G-2, Navroz K Dubash, a senior fellow at Centre for Policy Research said the reason for hope is that the move really infuses energy into the global process.

The environment ministry will be conducting a series of negotiations with experts from within and outside the government over the next week to strategise for the Lima Climate Summit.

also read

When the bar has a male tilt: Gender imbalance in the judiciary and its impact on...
Show comments