US-China climate deal is a 'good beginning', says India

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New Delhi, Nov 14: India was on Friday not too impressed by the "mutual" climate deal reached between the US and China, saying it was "not so ambitious" but welcomed the American decision to cut carbon emissions with immediate effect as a "good beginning" in dealing with climate change.

"Whatever intentions have been declared by the US and China is a beginning but it is not as ambitious as people wanted it to be," Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters here when asked to comment on the deal reached earlier this week.

'US-China climate deal not so ambitious'
He termed it as a "mutual consent" between the US and China, the world's top carbon emitters.

At the same time, he said, "I welcome that the US has declared its intentions of cutting emissions with immediate effect."

Noting that the US was not part of 1997 Kyoto Protocol and had not accepted the restrictions under it, the Minister said, "But now if they themselves want to go towards emission cuts path, then it is a good beginning."

India's official reaction came two days after the US and China reached a deal on climate change providing for ambitious actions to limit greenhouse gases. Javadekar said many people were expecting that the US will take in more cuts than declared recently or China will declare its peaking much earlier than it did.

"But that has not happened," he said. "...Now they have taken binding cut on their own. It is a beginning which the world will be watching as the US, China and Europe are the major polluters," he said.

He said "the world will be watching" whether the US will take the emission cuts immediately or not. Javadekar said that China has also stated that its peaking will happen in 2030 which means till that time, they will keep polluting and not grow beyond 2030. This assumes significance as India and China have so far been on the same page on the issue and resisted the developed world in the form a four-nation bloc -- BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China).

As far as India is concerned, the Minister said, its emissions are very low and it was positively disposed towards using its natural recources efficiently.

"India is already doing its own exercises to declare our Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDCs) which may come into effect in Paris convention next year. We are positively disposed towards using our natural resources efficiently and we will walk energy efficiency path vigourously," he said.

Javadekar said India's poverty eradication and energy access were important developmental tools and "therefore when our peaking will be, that we will declare at the right moment".

US President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, earlier this week, reported a breakthrough as they announced respective post-2020 goals of coping with climate change after a comprehensive round of talks.

Javadekar said whatever the US has said, the world will be watching whether the emission cuts will take place immediately or not and the issue will be debated in the forthcoming UN conference in Lima as well as Paris.

He said that eradicating poverty in developing nations such as India is the government's goal and maintained that electricity has still not reached one third of the country's population which needs to be ensured.

PTI 

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