India can’t commit to Kyoto targets: UN
NEW DELHI: India will be unable to commit to greenhouse gas emission targets when the first phase of the Kyoto treaty ends in 2012 as its energy-hungry economy is developing fast, the top UN climate expert said on Thursday.
Under the Kyoto climate change protocol which came into force in February, developed countries will try to reduce greenhouse gas output by 5.2 percent of 1990 levels by 2008-12.
But developing countries such as India and China are exempt from the treaty’s emission targets because they say their economies will take a serious hit if they change their energy policies.
As its fuel imports grow and demand for cars surges, experts say India - whose economy is projected to grow at over six percent annually over the next few years - could be under pressure to join rich nations in efforts to lower emissions in the next phase of the Kyoto treaty after 2012.
“We (India) are a large political entity but should we be penalised on that account?” Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, told Reuters in an interview.
“People here are not responsible for even 1/20th of the extent of the greenhouse gases that, say, someone in North America is probably emitting.”
Pachauri said developed countries had to take the lead in cutting carbon emissions that scientists say are causing the world to heat up. “We are not historically responsible for this problem. So the first steps have to be taken by those who are historically responsible - the developed countries.”
“If the developed countries do nothing and expect us to take the burden, that’s clearly unacceptable ... we are a large country, a poor country, an energy-scarce country and, therefore, a lower-emitting country in terms of per capita emission.”
The United States has refused to accept any targets which could damage its economy, saying there is no point in agreements which do not include major developing economies such as China and India. reuters