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India favours legally binding agreement from developed world

world Updated: Dec 08, 2009 18:43 IST
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India on Tuesday favoured a legally binding climate change agreement from the developed countries saying a political pact will not be "enforceable", even as it asserted that its voluntary reduction of carbon emission intensity was not announced under pressure.

Stressing the importance of a treaty at Copenhagen, the Prime Minister's Climate Change envoy Shyam Saran said it was too early to "preempt that the negotiations would fail to produce legally binding commitments and governments would have to settle for a political agreement."

India decided to cut down its carbon emission intensity by 20-25 per cent by 2020 in the run up to the Copenhagen summit, shortly after a similar declaration by China.

Asked if the recent announcement on emission reduction indicated flexibility in India's position Saran said: "We are not required by the convention to do this but we are doing this in order to facilitate and promote a successful outcome."

Saran highlighted the need to work towards "an agreed outcome" as was mandated by the Bali action plan, and only if the countries failed to arrive at a "substantive outcome" on those lines then "we can take a call on the outcome that we now aim for."

"But to say that we should only aim for a politically binding document does not really mean very much to us because politically binding means that commitments that are taken will not be enforceable," the top Indian Climate Change official noted. "What we would be looking for are enforceable commitments," he said.