Jairam Ramesh denies rift in government on climate pact

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New Delhi, Dec.6 (ANI): Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh on Sunday denied there were any differences in the government over India's negotiating stance at next week's Climate Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Reacting to reports that two key Indian negotiators had decided to opt out of the team going to Copenhagen because of an apparent change in goal posts, Ramesh cleared the air, saying that he had met the concerned negotiators and had "necessary and productive" discussions with them.

Describing the Indian negotiating team as valuable colleagues, he said: "We have finalised the nitty-gritty of India's negotiating stand at Copenhagen, and the team will leave for Copenhagen on Tuesday."

On Saturday, key negotiator and former diplomat Chandrashekhar Dasgupta decided not to leave for Copenhagen on Monday, saying that he needed to have more "discussions" with the government on what New Delhi's final stand would be at the summit.

Dasgupta was said to be very unhappy with India accepting a 20-25 percent reduction in carbon emission intensity, a move voiced by Ramesh in Parliament earlier this week.

The acceptance of the reduction was seen in certain quarters as bowing to pressure from the United States.

What acerbated irritation in certain quarters in New Delhi was a White House statement that India acted in concert with US. China too has also announced that it plans a 20 to 25 percent carbon emission cut by 2020.

Ramesh said the carbon intensity reduction target was voluntary and not binding. (ANI)

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