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Climate Change Economics and Technology for India

11/12/09

By Sumeru Chatterjee, India

Keeping with India’s stand for the key meeting in Copenhagen this December, India’s finance minister Pranab Mukherjee stated that rich nations will have to take responsibility for environmental degradation and will have to pay appropriately more for their dominant contribution towards climate change over the 200 years of industrial development.

“We have to keep in mind the historical back-drop…it should be accepted that the responsibilities should be common but differentiated depending upon the capability of the state concerned,” Mukherjee said at the World Economic Forum’s India Economic Summit Tuesday.

On the technology front, The World Economic Forum session on trade and climate change brought together a high profile panel comprising policy and corporate leaders. This event, however, saw no significant progress in terms of how different viewpoints between developed and developing countries could be reconciled.

Mukherjee said that the agenda discussions at the recently concluded Pittsburg summit were about additional support to combat financial crisis, stability in financial markets, financing of climate change and the exit strategy. He also outlined the road map for withdrawal of Indian stimulus and the agenda of returning to path of fiscal consolidation.

The minister stated that India clocked a GDP growth of 6-7% in 2008-2009 which was a reasonable percentage. However he mentioned that the real challenge would be to chalk out a plan from there on. He added his intentions to bring down the fiscal and revenue deficit to 6.4% and 4.5% respectively by 2012.

The finance minister also stated that applicable forum for consideration should be United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Therefore it is clear that India still considers the “common but differentiated” responsibilites when it comes to financing the fight against climate change.

The panel on the World Economic Forum comprised Special Envoy of the Prime Minister for Climate Change, Shyam Saran, chairman and managing director Moser Baer Deepak Puri, CEO of Alcatel Lucent France Ben Verwaayen, president of the US National Foreign Trade Council William Reinsch, joint executive officer, IT Business, and Wipro Board member Suresh Vaswani and Professor Lord Stern.

Saran reiterated India’s stance with regard to universal accessibility of green and transitional technology and said global negotiations did not reflect the urgency that was required to address the peril the planet was in.

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