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Obama to convince India, China to curb emissions

world Updated: Dec 16, 2009 14:54 IST

President Barack Obama will make an attempt to convince India and China that it's in their interest to curb emissions as he goes to attend the climate summit in Copenhagen where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other global leaders would be in attendance.

Obama, who is going to Copenhagen at the end of the week, "will help make that case," State Department spokesman P. J. Crowley told reporters Tuesday when asked how the US will convince New Delhi and Beijing.

Noting that both Obama and Manmohan will be in Copenhagen for the climate summit, he said: "...it is an important element of our strategic dialogue." The US has had multiple conversations with Indian and Chinese officials on the issue, Crowley said. It came up for discussion during Manmohan Singh's State visit to US last month as also Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's trip to India last July.

With China too the issue was discussed during Obama and Clinton's trips to Beijing as also under their Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Washington.

Clinton has all along made this point that "to solve these global challenges, you will need to have meaningful participation and leadership by the United States," Crowley said. "But we cannot solve this particular challenge without meaningful participation and leadership by emerging countries such as China, India, Brazil, other countries."

In an op-ed piece in International Herald Tribune Tuesday, Clinton had set forth two primary US objectives, Crowley said.

"A successful agreement depends upon a number of core elements, but two are shaping up to be essential: first, that all major economies set forth strong national actions and resolve to implement them; and second, that they agree to a system that enables full transparency and creates confidence that national actions are in fact being implemented," Clinton wrote.

Suggesting Obama was perhaps taking a different approach than the previous Bush administration, Crowley said: "Even as we work with Congress on legislation on this issue, the President has put forward a target of roughly 17 percent cut by 2020."

"But we also recognize, and clearly part of the discussion that's going on in Copenhagen is to make sure that there is meaningful participation and meaningful political commitments from other countries," he said noting that there were a "variety of countries" apart from India and China.

Asked if the US or other Western countries were prepared to give green technology, Crowley said while technology has to be a major part of the solution, we're proposing a strong economic case ...creation of new industries, green jobs, sharing of technology.

"We think this is an economic plus rather than being an economic minus."