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Thursday, November 26, 2009

INDIA, CHINA to face the heat : Global warming

India, China may face the heat, cautions PM

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ON BOARD PRIME MINISTER'S AIRCRAFT: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has confirmed that the G8-G5 dialogue at L' Aquila failed to bridge the gulf
between the developed and developing countries on how to fight the climate change, cautioning that India and China may come under intense pressure to agree to take emission cut targets.

"I conveyed our stand to the states participating in G8-G5 deliberations. I also feel that there was considerable appreciation of our stand. But it would be wrong to asssume that everyone agreed with us. In fact, on the issue of climate change India and China are going to come under intense pressure," said Singh.

The Prime Minister was talking to media on his way from the L' Aquila meeting of G-8 and G-5 countries.

In fact, he also indicated that despite the loss of their clout and the rise of developing countries, the developed countries will not easily agree to share power by accepting India's demand for the restructuring of international institutions.

He argued that the architecture of international institutions put in place after World War II has been rendered ineffective by the current realities of global structures and equations, but conceded that the campaign by India and other developing countries for the restructuring of the institutions like the UN Security Council was not going to succeed easily. "International relations in the final sense are power relationships. And nobody gives up power willingly, those who have the power want to hold on to it. So, I don't think an easy solution is in sight. It will have to be a long drawn out struggle and I do believe that in the long run our views will prevail."

The candid assessment coincided with indications of US's opposition to the demand for the restructuring of the International Monetary Fund.

On the issue of climate change, India and China earlier this week joined hands to frustrate efforts of the US-led developed world to pressure the developing countries into agreeing to accept specific targets for emission cuts.

India and China are leading the resistance from the developing countries against West's attempt to force targets down their gullets, that it is the West that has historically been responsible for the greenhouse gas emissions. They agree that they need to do more, but would not commit them to targets being insisted on by the West. The stand was so spelt out by the PM: "We are not able to undertake quantified emission reduction targets but we are also quite clear that as citizens of the global economy we have an obligation to do our bit to control emissions and therefore all countries have an obligation to be prepared to depart from business as usual."

The opposition from the US to the demand for the restructuing of the IMF and the lead role it has assumed to pressure the developing countries to give up their resistance to being tied down to emission cuts targets has also strengthened suspicions about the Obama administration.
However, Singh disagreed with the suggestion that Obama, while being good for the world at large, may not be good for India. "I find President Obama to be very supportive of India's development ambitions. He has great admiration for India. There is no basis for apprehension that the Obama administration will be less sensitive to India's concerns than the previous US administration."


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