New Delhi, Dec 4: India became the last major carbon emitting country to announce a climate change policy, when it vowed to slow carbon emissions growth by 20 to 25 per cent on Thursday, Dec 3.
India tabled its emission offer ahead of the United Nations climate change summit in Copenhagen scheduled to start on Dec 7.
The country pledged a reduction of 20 per cent to 25 per cent in carbon intensity by 2020 from 2005 levels through policy interventions, including mandatory fuel efficiency standards for all vehicles.
Speaking on the 'voluntary' step in Lok Sabha, minister of state for environment and forests Jairam Ramesh said, "The Planning Commission has, on the basis of historical experience, concluded that a 20-25% cut in emission intensity between 2005 and 2020 is possible. India will not be taking a legal undertaking and this will not be a law."
India, which continues to oppose binding emission-reduction goals, maintains that the 2008 plan to increase solar power, energy efficiency and forestation will reduce emissions of the greenhouse gases which is causing the global warming.
"We must be flexible without compromising basic national interests," Ramesh said.
India is Asia"s third-biggest energy consumer and ranks fifth in world carbon dioxide emissions.