Tuesday, 1 December 2009

India Not Counting on Others to Fund Carbon Cuts

NEW DELHI -- India's top climate change envoy said Monday he doesn't expect funds or technological help from developed nations in its battle to cut carbon emissions and maintain economic growth, and that's indicative of a deep gulf between the major developing countries and the developed world ahead of the global conference in Copenhagen.

Asia's third-largest economy isn't looking at richer nations as natural allies, making its job to reduce carbon more difficult, Shyam Saran said at a conference Monday.
"If you look at the future, we are not looking at a very supportive global regime. Neither are you going to get any technology nor finance for major developing countries. Money will go to the small developing states or least developed countries. But large countries like India are expected to take care of themselves," Mr. Saran said.
The country will have to generate funds through carbon trading, he said.
China and India have said rich nations bear historic responsibility for climate change, so developing nations shouldn't be legally bound to cut carbon emissions blamed for rising temperatures--which U.N. scientists say will put entire species at risk and could shift agricultural and climate zones around the world if left unchecked.
However, the world's two fastest growing economies are regularly cited as part of the problem, Mr. Saran said. They are accused of failing to keep a lid on carbon emissions as more dirty coal is burned to power their factories and more fuel-guzzling cars hit the roads.
India has yet to offer figures on reining in its carbon output, with just over a week to go until the United Nations climate talks start on Dec. 7 in Copenhagen.
"We should not be hustled in to a position that harms our economic interests," Mr. Saran said.
India has refused to accept binding emission cuts that it says could slow its economic growth, and has instead highlighted voluntary actions to stem emissions, such as support for renewable energy.
"The climate change negotiations are not just about climate. They are also today very much about economic interests," Mr. Saran said.
It is unlikely that there will be any legally binding outcome from the forthcoming negotiations, although that is the mandate for the meetings, he said.
Write to Rakesh Sharma at rakesh.sharma@dowjones.com