Fwd: + India’s Call for Binding Climate Commitments Sparks Outcry

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India's Call for Binding Climate Commitments Sparks Outcry
2010-12-10 08:44:25.714 GMT

By Natalie Obiko Pearson
Dec. 10 (Bloomberg) -- India's call on all nations to agree
to binding commitments to battle climate change sparked an
outcry from an opposition politician and environmental group
that called it a policy reversal.
"This is a disastrous departure from India's strategy,"
Sunita Narain, director of the New Delhi-based Centre for
Science and Environment said by telephone today.
Jairam Ramesh, environment minister of the world's fourth-
largest greenhouse-gas emitter, made the remarks at global
climate negotiations in the Mexican city of Cancun by pushing
countries to accept "binding" climate pledges.
Narendra Modi, chief minister of Gujarat state who belongs
to India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, called it "a
compromise with respect to national sovereignty" in a letter to
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, according to his website.
"All countries must take on binding commitments in an
appropriate legal form," Ramesh told envoys at United Nations
climate talks in a webcast of the speech. The statement was
"not part of the minister's prepared speech," the Mint
newspaper reported.
Ministry spokeswoman Kalpana Palkhiwala declined to comment
on whether this was a change in India's policy.
India and China have opposed legally binding limits for
themselves on greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global
warming. The countries, whose energy usage and emissions are
projected to rise, have argued that their economic growth
shouldn't be hampered by such limits when developed nations are
most responsible for historic emissions.
Narain said India had compromised a cornerstone of
international climate negotiations that differentiates between
the responsibilities of developed and developing nations.
"The strategy to bring the U.S. on board at any cost is
going to make the world bleed," she said.

For Related News and Information:
Emission trading stories: TNI ENVMARKET CLIMATE <GO>
Top environment and renewable energy stories: GREEN <GO>
Stories about the climate talks: NSE CLIMATE CANCUN <GO>

--Editors: Baldave Singh, Todd White.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Natalie Obiko Pearson in Mumbai at +91-22-6612-9107 or

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Reed Landberg at +44-20-7330-7862 or landberg@bloomberg.net.