'Developing nations should leapfrog to low carbon economy'

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New Delhi, Feb 8 (UNI) Swedish Minister for Environment Andreas Carlgren today called up on the developing countries like India not to repeat the mistake of developed nations in investing in fossil and high carbon technology but to ''leapfrog'' directly towards a low carbon economy.

''The industrialised states had so far had a high-carbon economy... We now face huge costs transforming transportation, energy and building for the low carbon society,'' he said.

Mr Carlgren was speaking this morning at the second Ministerial session of the three-day Delhi Sustainable Development Summit, organised by TERI and inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here yesterday.

The session was chaired by Planning Commission deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia ''There is no dispute that the world needs development but the key issue is to achieve sustainable development. That means to have a strong economic growth based on energy efficiency, renewable resources, recycling and zero emissions,'' said Mr Carlgren.

He said the great climate treaty that the world has to sign in 2009 should not be just about climate but about sustainable development too.

Pointing out that the European Union had declared that it was prepared to reduce emissions by 30 per cent by 2020, he urged the other industrialised countries to make comparable efforts.

''However, the rapidly industrialising countries too should do their bit. Though they could not be expected to make binding commitment, but a climate agreement needs to create incentives for these countries to implement reductions in emissions that can be measured, reported and verified, he added.

He said adaptation was as important as mitigation, and in view of that the Swedish government had established an International Commission on Climate Change and Development, Ms Sunita Narain, director of the Centre for Science and Environment in India as one of its members.

The main task of the Commission was to make proposals on how to integrate risk reduction and adaptation into the development and poverty reduction plans of the least developed countries.

Head of the Swiss Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communication Mortiz Leuenberger in his remarks said voluntary approach was no longer effective and the governments were needed to take firm action.

Prof Klaus Toeper, Former Federal Minister from Germany and former Executive Director of the United Nations Programme for Environment(UNEP) felt that long-term targets were not enough, ''as it makes one sleep till the deadline approaches.'' He said energy policies were crucial to any plan, strategies or agreement relating to climate change.

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