Bring down per capita emissions, India to West

Written by ASHOK B SHARMA | New Delhi, February 7: | Updated: Feb 8 2008, 08:59am hrs
India has made clear that if industrialised countries take initiatives to bring down their per capita carbon emissions, it would reduce its threshold for carbon emissions.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurating the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit organised by The Tata Energy Research Institute (TERI) on Thursday urged for global support and said, "We need technology innovations for reduction of energy use by industry and other user sectors. We need massive action for afforestation, drought proofing and flood protection. We need to act to protect our coastal areas. We need action to protect the glaciers that feed our river systems. A whole gamut of development action needs to be planned and funded."

He informed that in the 11th Five Year Plan, which has been launched this year, has articulated strategies in many of these areas. A National Plan of Action on Climate Change would be released by June end, this year.

Manmohan Singh urged the summit to endorse India's stand to strengthen global initiatives in the area of climate change. He repeated his commitment made at the last G-8 Summit at Heiligendamm that India was prepared to commit that its per capita emission would not exceed the average per capita emissions of developed industrial countries. The emission reduction commitments by countries should be on per capita basis.

The three-day Delhi Sustainable Development Summit is being participated by delegates from several countries including the Prime Minister of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg, Prime Minister of Finland, Matti Vanhanen, President of Iceland, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, Prime Minister of Denmark, Anders Fogh Rasmussen and President of Maldives, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

Singh reminded the participants of India's approach to the global problems being based on ancient Sanskrit saying Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam the whole world is one large family. The issue of tackling global climate change needed efforts by all countries, he said and emphasized the need to "ensure an acceptable standard of living for all our people following sustainable path for that development, " he said and added climate justice must, therefore, inform all efforts at international collaboration in act of human solidarity.

The Prime Minister said that even if India engages global community in combating climate change, it would work at local, sub-national and national levels to meet the challenges. He called for knowledge partnership across countries and said that India has decided to link all academic institutions that work on climate change on a national knowledge net. Key knowledge institutions would be identified as centres of excellence on climate change research. "We are also considering setting up of a venture capital fund to promote green technologies," he said.

He said India was concerned about poverty eradication and reducing global disparities in income and wealth. "We cannot continue with a global model in which some countries continue to maintain high carbon emissions, while the development options available for developing countries get constrained," he said.

The Norwegian Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg, who is leading a large business delegation to India, said that his country had developed a technology by which carbon dioxide from a gas field of the Norwegian coast was captured, reinjected into the ground and stored in a geological formation 1000 metres below the seabed and no leakages have occurred so far. He suggested application of this technology to coal-fired power plants in India.

He said that Norway had developed some of the most environment friendly technologies in the world and now Norwegian companies were developing them in cooperation with Indian partners.

"The Clean Development Mechanism is an instrument for transfer of technology and has the potential of providing billions of tonne of emission reductions in developing countries. Norway welcomes the opportunities offered by India as an important supplier of CDM projects," he said.

Denmark also launched a new partnership with India in areas of political cooperation on global issues like combating climate change and terrorism, trade and investment, researches in science and technology, energy security and education and culture.