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India to reveal climate change goals soon: Sarkozy

world Updated: Nov 29, 2009 16:56 IST

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India will reveal in the coming days its goals to curb greenhouse gas emissions, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Friday after face-to-face talks here with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Sarkozy told journalists gathered at a summit of Commonwealth nations that he had a very productive meeting with Singh, and said he believed India would attend the UN climate talks in Copenhagen which begin on December 7.

As a result of the talks, "I believe it is in India's interests to take part in this meeting, and I have no doubt that they will put some figures on the table," he said.

Home to a billion people, India is the sole major greenhouse gas emitting nation to have not yet revealed any intended targets to rein in its carbon output ahead of the Copenhagen talks.

"I highlighted that India has nothing to lose and everything to gain... The prime minister told me that he would talk about it with his cabinet as soon as he returns to draw up their definitive position," the French president said.

He added that one of his advisors would then travel to India "in the coming days" to draw up a joint position with the emerging power.

"I have every confidence in the Indian prime minister, and I am sure that India will be present at the Copenhagen meeting."
"We cannot afford to fail," Sarkozy warned as the Copenhagen talks loom large, aimed at hammering out a deal to replace the Kyoto treaty which expires in 2012.

He hailed progress made in recent days towards reaching an accord, including pledges from China and the United States to curb their own gas emissions, but said: "We have not yet succeeded."

"The commitments must be made at the highest level. Only the heads of state and government can take the major decisions which have to be made.

"The heads of state and government must be present at Copenhagen on December 17 and 18, because that is when everything will be decided."

He said that for the Copenhagen talks to succeed both developed and developing nations must put forward detailed figures on how they plan to curb their dangerous greenhouse gases.

Sarkozy also confirmed that he would travel to India at the end of March or in early April to sign accords on civilian nuclear energy and the transfer of technologies.