Opposition expresses dissatisfaction, walks out of Rajya Sabha over climate change debate

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New Delhi, Dec 7 (ANI): Refusing to accept Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh's defence of the Government's moves on emission cuts, the opposition walked out of the Rajya Sabha, saying there was no clarity on the issue.

Ramesh attempted to assuage opposition fears that the country's interests would be harmed.

BJP leader Arun Jaitley accused the government of unilaterally changing India's stand on climate change.

Ramesh had earlier said India would reject legally binding targets of any kind and would demand greater cuts from the West. He also assured the House that this was a unilateral decision and in India's interest.

India would not accept any draft that suggested, "India's emissions should be so much by whatever year," he added.

The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, will attend the Copenhagen summit on climate change after India announced that it would consider an emission cut of 20 to 25 percent by 2020, but would not be coerced into accepting unilateral cuts decided by developed countries.

Intense negotiations in commitments on emission cuts will be discussed in the two-week long summit that begins today. It will be a strong test for India to balance the economic growth with climate change concerns.

Earlier last week, Jairam Ramesh had said that India would never accept a legally binding emission reduction agreement. India would not change its stand on International pressure, he had added.

The United Nations is aiming for a comprehensive political agreement at climate talks in the Danish capital.

The troubled talks have run out of time to settle a legally binding deal after rancorous arguments between rich and poor nations about who should cut emissions, by how much and who should pay.

New Delhi has so far refused to accept international legally binding emission reduction targets, though it is prepared to discuss and make public periodically the status of its domestic climate action. (ANI)

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