India Says Climate Change Treaty Shouldn’t Work Against Developing Nations

The nation's India's lead negotiator Shyam Saran said today, the country's national climate-change plans are not the window dressing some critics charge.

But any agreement that might emerge from global negotiations must give the South Asian powerhouse ample room to grow and develop economically.

"Climate change shouldn't become a mechanism for the perpetuation of poverty," said Shyam Saran, the prime minister's special envoy on climate change, in a meeting with reporters.

India and China's carbon dioxide emissions are growing rapidly in line with national aspirations, although they remain far below U.S. or European levels on a per-person basis, The Los Angeles Times reports.

It was also reported, India is a major player in the core debate between developing and developed nations over how to apportion responsibility for -- as well as the cost of -- curbing carbon emissions.

Saran reiterated India's position that while it is willing to take whatever steps its limited resources allow, implementing a more ambitious emissions reduction agenda would require substantial economic and technological support from richer nations.

"The fact is that unless very large sums of money are on the table, the kind of response we have led the international community to expect may not be possible," he said.

Some 190 countries will meet in Copenhagen to try to conclude a new United Nations-backed climate treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012, AFP reports.

In the meantime, the United Nations has set a goal for nations to agree on the outlines of a broader, and tougher, framework in Copenhagen in which all countries share the burden of fighting climate change.

But lack of progress in negotiations and worries over the fragile global economic recovery have dimmed hopes of success.

Nally said he didn't expect developed nations' economies to recover for another 18 to 24 months, making it hard for them to make major financial commitments for climate funds.

"I don't think you're going to see governments committing big time until they have a better feel for what that economic picture is going to look like."

"The economic environment that we're dealing with right now, that creeps into that whole discussion and I think until you get some clarity around this recovery period and what does it look like, that is going to be the cloud that hangs over all that," Reuters reports.

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