Thursday, October 22, 2009

India & China Sign Climate Pact In Advance Of Copenhagen

Oct 21: The Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of India have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on Cooperation on Addressing Climate Change. The MOA was signed in India by the Minister of State for Environment and Forests Shri Jairam Ramesh and Xie Zhenhua, Vice Chairman, Minister, National Development and Reform Commission, China. According to a release, the Agreement would strengthen the cooperative activities between China and India on mitigation, programmes, projects, technology development and demonstration relating to greenhouse gas emission reduction including energy conservation efficiency, renewable energies, clean coal, methane recovery and utilization, afforestation and sustainable management of forests and ecosystems, transportation and sustainable habitat.

According to the MOA the two nations are, "Desirous of further promoting friendship between India and China, Acknowledging that climate change and its adverse effects are the common concern of humankind, which need to be addressed through international co-operation, Emphasizing that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol are the most appropriate framework for addressing climate change, Reaffirming the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, in particular that developed countries should take the lead in and continue to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and providing financial resources, technology transfer and capacity building support to developing countries, Noting that India and China have announced their National Action Plans on Climate Change to achieve a sustainable development path which provides, inter alia, for international cooperation for research, development, sharing and transfer of technologies in relation to climate change, Determined to enhance dialogue, communication and pragmatic bilateral cooperation between the Two Sides in addressing climate change . . ."

The agreement indicates that the Two Sides agree to establish the India-China Partnership on Combating Climate Change; agree to establish an India- China Working Group on Climate Change; agree to strengthen their exchange of views and cooperation, inter alia, on mitigation policies, programmes, projects, technology development and demonstration relating to greenhouse gas emission reduction; and agree to strengthen their cooperation in basic capacity building.

According to a report in China View, "China and India shared extensive common interests in tackling the climate change [and] the two countries are newly emerged major developing countries, which are seeking their own development while promoting international cooperation to deal with climate change. . . both countries are important participants of Copenhagen climate change negotiations. Their decisions on enhancing climate change cooperation are not only in their own interests, but also helpful to global efforts in combating climate change."

An article in China Daily, quotes India's Ramesh as saying, "There is no difference between the Indian and Chinese negotiating positions and we are discussing further what the two countries should be doing for a successful outcome at Copenhagen." China's Xie said that the "climate change is the result of unrestricted emission of greenhouse gases by developed countries in two centuries of industrialization. . . both China and India are developing countries and most vulnerable to climate change's adverse effects. Both countries are also in the accelerating stage of industrialization and urbanization and are faced with the multiple tasks of developing economy, wiping out poverty, improving people' s life standard and protecting environment. . .

"As long as China and India further coordinate and cooperation over climate change, they can surely help bring about a solution in negotiations by the international community, which would take into account both environment protection and development of all countries." Xie also said that "while all countries expect UN Copenhagen Climate Summit to be a milestone, the talks are being stalled because some developed countries are trying to minimize their duties on reducing emission and capital and technology transfer."

Bloomberg posted a lengthy article on the India-China deal quoting Olav Roenningen, senior analyst at the carbon markets advisory firm Markedskraft in Arendal, Norway who said, “They’re trying to gain leverage going into Copenhagen and show the world they have other options if the global talks break down." Bloomberg reported, "The New Delhi accord shows how support may be eroding for a global treaty that United Nations negotiators aim to conclude this December in Copenhagen. Led by China and India, developing nations are devising similar regional agreements after failing to convince wealthier countries including the U.S. to share clean-energy technology or to reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions by 40 percent in 2020 from 1990 levels."

Access a release and the complete agreement (
click here). Access the China View article (click here). Access the China Daily article (click here). Access the Bloomberg article (click here).