Against the backdrop of India's insistence that it would not accept any legally binding emission reductions, a top US Senator has said the Obama Administration needs to build a "flexible" climate partnership with New Delhi to address the issue of global warming.
Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the recent visit of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to India offered a fresh reminder of the challenges being faced in this regard.
"India's rhetoric was as strident as we ever heard China's, so we need to build a climate partnership with India, too; working from the same principles, but respecting the massive differences," Kerry told reporters on Wednesday.
Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh had said after his meeting with Clinton that India would not accept any legally binding emission reductions but made it clear that the country was not running away from its responsibilities on the issue.
"If India took full advantage of its energy efficiency opportunities, experts say it could substantially reduce its construction of new power plants," Kerry said. "Some even suggest that it wouldn't have to build another power plant for a decade, if it took advantage of those energy efficiencies."
"Ultimately our climate diplomacy depends on building a framework that is flexible enough to accommodate individual countries' wants and needs, but firm enough to bring all of us on board and hold all nations accountable," he said.