India will not accept limits on its greenhouse gas emissions at climate talks later this year and instead will focus on economic growth and lifting its people out of poverty, according to Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh. He said that a legally binding emissions target would endanger India’s food security and transport, adding, “India cannot and will not take emission reduction targets because poverty eradication and social and economic development are first and overriding priorities.”
India has low per capita greenhouse gas emissions, but its population of 1 billion and the country’s rapid economic development now make it the world’s fifth largest emitter of greenhouse gases. In advance of international climate talks in Copenhagen in December, China has also said it would reject limits on its CO2 emissions, and India’s declaration further complicates prospects of securing an international agreement. Both nations have called on the developed world to commit to sharp emissions reductions, with China saying the U.S. should slash CO2 emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. Chinese officials have criticized a climate bill recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives for falling far short of that goal.
This article originally appeared on Yale Environment 360 at http://e360.yale.edu
[photo credit: joiseyshowaa]