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India might follow China’s lead on emission cuts

Saturday, 28 November 2009 - 12:25am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA
India might come up with a plan to cut emissions in response to those announced by the US and China. China has pledged to reduce its carbon intensity by 40 to 45% by 2020.

India might come up with a plan to cut emissions in response to those announced by the US and China. China has pledged to reduce its carbon intensity by 40 to 45% by 2020.

Independent experts and those in the government suggest that India is under pressure to come up with a plan, even though China’s announcement is not ‘very drastic.’ “We have been talking about per capita emission whereas China has shifted the discussion to carbon production. We haven’t announced any figures yet, but we have to calculate how much cuts can be achieved though steps taken under the National Action Plan on Climate Change,” said Nitin Desai, who is a member of the prime minister’s counsel on climate change.

Desai also said that China’s steps are not drastic, because it talks about reducing carbon intensity — the amount of carbon dioxide emitted for every dollar of GDP it generates. “These announcements are not legally binding and China’s GDP will continue to grow,” he added.

The United States had earlier announced that it could offer a target reduction of 17% in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 as compared to 2005 levels. “The US has made a start, but this is below expectations. It’s the least it could have done.” said Navroz K Dubash, senior fellow at the Centre for Policy Research. According to Dubash, the targets set by China could amount to nothing because the steps are voluntary.

Another expert feels that the steps announced by US are meaningless. “The US has announced an absolute reduction target of 17% below 2005 levels, by 2020. This means a mere 3% reduction below 1990 levels. Science demands that developed countries cut emission by 40% below 1990 levels. In fact, the US proposal is a death-knell for the Kyoto Protocol, which in its first commitment period had asked for more — 5.2% reduction over 1990 levels,” said Sunita Narain of the Centre for Science and Environment.




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