Environment Minister rejects use of climate factor as a non-tariff barrier

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New Delhi, June 30 (ANI): Union Minister for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday ruled out to use climate as a non-tariff barrier and any attempt to introduce climate change as a topic for discussion at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) meetings.

Jairam's remarks came on Tuesday in reaction to a report from the WTO saying trade concerns should be subjugated to climate change issues.

Jairam said that the eight 'missions' listed in India's National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) released exactly a year ago, were still being finalised, and said that the detailed "action plans" would be ready by the end of the year.

He also said that India would not sign any treaty that legally binds it to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, attacking a proposed US legislation that seeks to put in such provisions to tax those products from countries that do not impose curbs on these emissions.

Jairam added that India was not negotiating or re-negotiating United Nation's Framework of Convention. But, he said, it is negotiating emission targets as India has no role in building Green House Gases (GHGs).

India must stop looking at climate change purely as an international issue.

As Jairam put it, it is mostly a fundamental, domestic and local issue. It affects water security, land productivity, agricultural yields and energy consumption.

"The agenda today is talking about deforestation and incentives to reduce deforestation. We believe that in addition to this we would like incentives to be enshrined for reforestation, for sustainable forest management," said Jairam.

He also stressed on the need for reforestation.

"We reject the use of climate as a non tariff barrier. We would like barriers to train in environmental goods and services to be removed. We would like special property rights regime for climate change technology but we comprehensively and categorically reject any attempt to introduce climate change as a discussion part of the WTO (World Trade Organisation)," Jairam said.

Climate change will be discussed during the next week G-8 summit to be attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and during thee NAM (Non-Aligned Meeting) later next month. (ANI)

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