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Developed countries declarations on climate change ‘make no sense’ India

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Economic Times
Saturday, July 5, 2008

NEW DELHI: Industrialised countries should meet their own commitments in the fight against climate change rather than asking countries like India and China to cap greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the prime minister’s principal negotiator on climate change Shyam Saran said here.

A week before leaders of 16 major economies – including India – are expected to sign a declaration underscoring the importance of fighting climate change, Saran told IANS in an interview that emission reduction targets being announced by developed countries meant nothing in the absence of a baseline year from which to measure the reductions.

As agreed in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), “1990 must be the baseline year” from which GHG emissions would be reduced, Saran said. “We’ll resist any unilateral attempt to try and change the baseline to some future date.”

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Declarations by developed countries to halve GHG emissions by 2050 “make no sense” without a baseline, he pointed out. “It will only confuse world public opinion. It may make them think you are doing something very major, which you actually have no intention of doing,” Saran said.

Saran also wanted industrialised countries to draw out the path they would follow to their 2050 goals. Otherwise, “how do we know whether this is a credible target? Especially, taking into account the fact that most major countries are unlikely to meet their current (2007-2012) commitments”.

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This article was posted: Saturday, July 5, 2008 at 6:28 am

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