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UN chief encouraged by India's approach towards climate change

world Updated: Sep 23, 2009 11:37 IST

Lauding India's commitment towards reducing its per capita carbon emission, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said he was "optimistic" about achieving a deal on climate change at the Copenhagen summit in December.

Ban said it was very important for countries like United States, China and India take ambitious targets to mitigate the threat of climate change.

"The Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has announced that while India's per capita emission is much lower than developed countries they will even look at a per capita emission plus," he said.

"Therefore I am optimistic that we can achieve a deal in Copenhagen," Ban said after the conclusion of a high-level Climate Change Summit at the UN.

The meeting, which was attended by more than 100 world leaders, was convened to mobilise political will ahead of the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen scheduled to be held in December this year.

India was represented by Foreign Minister S M Krishna and Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh at the Summit.

The Indian negotiators stressed that India's per capita emissions are only around 1 tonne of CO2 equivalent per annum, which is a quarter of the global average and half that of the developing countries as a whole.

Foreign Minister Krishna said: "We have also repeatedly reaffirmed that our per-capita emissions would never exceed the average per capita emissions of the developed countries, even as we pursue our development objectives."

Under this approach India would pursue unilateral voluntary measures for the year 2020 at national level.

"We are now talking of voluntary unilateral implicitly targeted mitigation outcomes not just action with specific quantitative targets enshrined by law," Ramesh told the world leaders.

"This is a major step forward. This is what I call per capita plus approach," he added.

The voluntary measures would include mandatory fuel efficiency standards, renewable energy initiatives, clean coal technologies, and lower methane farming. These mitigation measures are being worked into legislation and will be presented to parliament in November, Ramesh said.

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