India-Japan statement on energy efficiency
ON SEPTEMBER 17, India and Japan issued a joint statement that threatens to overturn India's traditional stance at climate change negotiations. The statement issued by Planning Commission Deputy Chairman, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, and Japan's Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry, Toshihiro Nikai, is ostensibly about cooperation in the energy sector. But it also has text, which some believe could contradict India's traditional posture that industrialized nations, and not developing countries, must reduce their greenhouse gas (ghg) emissions.
Developed countries, as part of their industrialization, have emitted large amounts of ghgs, the primary cause of climate change. Recognizing this, the Kyoto Protocol has imposed binding targets on industrialized nations to reduce their emissions.Developing countries, which are not responsible for historical emissions, are exempted from any mandatory commitments.
At present, negotiations are on for hammering out an agreement for post-2012, when the first phase of the Kyoto Protocol ends. Among the suggestions doing the rounds is the sectoral approach, put forward by Japan earlier this year. The method assigns emission quotas to sectors such as power and steel in countries that are big ghg emitters. This means that major developing countries like India and China will have to cut their emissions, in contrast, to the Kyoto Protocol that only obligates industrialized countries. There is also concern that a sectoral approach will put a higher burden of emissions cuts on developing countries as their industries are less energy efficient now.
|There is no contradiction between India's bilateral initiatives with Japan and its position on emissions commitments|
|-Montek Singh Ahluwalia|
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