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"After" Copenhagen
Climate Change News

Limited Progress at Copenhagen Conference says India - 3 Jan 2010

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Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said nations made “limited progress” at the Copenhagen climate-change summit and no one was satisfied with the outcome.

“There is no escaping the truth that the nations of the world have to move to a low greenhouse gas emissions and energy efficient development path,” Singh told delegates attending the Indian Science Congress in the southern city of Thiruvananthapuram today, according to an e-mailed statement from his office.

The Copenhagen Accord sets the goal of limiting global temperature increases to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). It also pledges $30 billion between 2010 and 2012 and $100 billion a year by 2020 for developing countries to help adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change.

The agreement has been criticized by environmental groups such as Friends of the Earth and carbon traders including Barclays Capital as it didn’t set binding targets. While countries including the U.S., China and India agreed on Dec. 19 to “take note” of the agreement, they were given until Jan. 31 to list actions and targets.

India’s Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said on Dec. 22 a statement by the White House senior adviser David Axelrod that the U.S. can challenge India and China if they don’t meet the goals is “spin” meant for domestic consumption.

China, the world’s largest polluter, acted as a “responsible” nation at the talks last month and doesn’t merit subsequent criticism, the country’s state-run Xinhua News Agency said in a commentary.

Renewable Energy

There is a shift to renewable sources of energy and India must take the lead in the development of science and technology related to mitigation and adaptation of climate change, Singh said, according to the statement today.

The cost of switching away from fossil fuels in the next 20 years is now estimated at $10 trillion and will rise by $500 billion for each year of delay, the International Energy Agency, a Paris-based adviser to 28 developed nations, said in October. The use of more energy-efficient technology will save about $8.6 trillion in that time, it said.

India needs to increase its solar and nuclear supplies “considerably,” Singh said. An accord last year with the Nuclear Suppliers Group will lift restrictions on the transfer of nuclear fuel and technology to India, he said.


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Source: Bloomberg