Govt negotiating on new carbon emission level: Shyam Saran

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Mumbai, Apr 21 (UNI) The government is negotiating on the new international carbon emission levels that are to be fixed after 2012, envoy of Prime Minister Shyam Saran said at a two-day ''Climate Change and India'' conference here today.

Speaking at the conference, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Mr Saran said ''Following the Bali Summit in November 2007, government is preparing an action plan on how to implement an effective transfer of technology for lower carbon emissions.'' While Prime Minister had made public assurances to G-5 and G-8 nations that the per capita emissions of India will not exceed the average emission levels of developed countries, the country has been repeatedly accused of not accepting carbon emission limits. The Prime Minister will present India's response to climate changes in June, he informed.

''India is alert to attempts made by developed nations to avoid responsibilities in reducing carbon emissions. The issue is about lifestyle and survival emissions. While Germany refuses to impose a speed limit on its Autobahn, 600 million Indians could be denied electricity permanently,'' he explained.

On the domestic front, Mr Saran stated that the country's industries were ahead of the curve and in line with government thinking, and securing supplies of fossil fuel and alternative energy sources in the form of solar and nuclear power and bio-fuel were important avenues both sides could invest in.

''Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) projects, efficiency in energy consumption by industries along with pooling of resources, promotion of existing technologies and investment in research and development (R&D) can make a big difference,'' Mr Saran said.

The issue of climate change and environment could also be a strong electioneering issue for political parties as changes in the climate and environment would affect everyone. ''I don't believe the 600 million poor and rural people would ignore the issue. Awareness is there especially in the urban areas and lots of NGOs are now involved,'' he stressed.

He said that the government has allocated 2.5 per cent of its GDP on climate change and disaster management funding.

''With her unique legacy of nurturing the environment, India could be a leader in reducing carbon levels and protecting the environment.

It will also follow the UN convention on climate change and its principles. And while there was a need for affordable technology to implement changes, it would make a strong stand for its needs as an emerging economy when the carbon emission levels fixed at the Kyoto Meet expires in 2012'', Mr Saran added.

UNI ZC GR PK HT2140

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