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India says to better cuts in gas emissions growth

Mon, 12/21/2009 - 11:26pm
Reuters

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India could improve upon its aims to slow the growth of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, the environment minister said on Tuesday after returning from climate change talks in Copenhagen.

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India said it was willing to rein in its "carbon intensity" -- the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted per unit of economic output -- by between 20 and 25 percent by 2020, from 2005 levels.

"(It) is not only eminently feasible, but can also be improved upon to the benefit of our own people," Jairam Ramesh, the environment minister, said in parliament.

The climate change meeting ended last week with a non-legally binding political agreement at the last moment between the United States and the big developing countries -- China, India, Brazil and South Africa.

Ramesh said the BASIC group of countries comprising Brazil, South Africa, India and China was successful in thwarting global pressure to agree to a legally-binding emissions cut.

"It was at this crucial meeting that the BASIC group was able to get agreement on its proposals....To ensure that the Copenhagen Accord was not legally binding and there was no mention of a new legally binding instrument in the accord," Ramesh said.

Talks on a binding treaty are to extend throughout next year before the next November/December climate change summit in Mexico.

"I believe India has come out quite well at Copenhagen and we have been recognized for our constructive approach," Ramesh added.

(Reporting by Bappa Majumdar; Editing by Alistair Scrutton and Ron Popeski)

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