Correspondent's Choice

This story about the Kyoto Protocol was published by EurActiv on 9th February 2010.

The Kyoto Protocol represents an international commitment to fulfil developed countries’ historical responsibility for climate change and its elaborate compliance mechanism is difficult to replicate, the Indian ambassador to the EU, Dr. J. Bhagwati, told EurActiv in an interview.

India, which was one of the leading countries framing the face-saving Copenhagen Accord on climate change last December, is convinced that replacing the protocol with another instrument would only lend credence to the suspicion that the developed countries wish to get away from their legally-binding commitments.

According to Ambassador Bhagwati, such a move would also put a question mark over the credibility of any new legal obligations rich nations might take on board under a new instrument.

Copenhagen failed due to a sustained divide between the positions of developed and developing countries, he noted, underlining that only ambitious emission reduction targets by developed countries would lead to a meaningful and credible agreed outcome in Mexico.

India is doing everything possible within the limitations of its own resources to reduce emissions, which per capita are lower than the average per capita emissions of developed countries, argued the ambassador.

The Indian National Action Plan will enable the country to make a strategic shift from its current reliance on carbon-based fossil fuels to renewable and clean sources of energy, he stressed, saying that the country has effectively delinked economic growth from energy use, and the energy intensity of its GDP is now among the best in the world.

Asked why India still ranks 123rd on the 2010 Environmental Performance Index (EPI), the highest level compared to other newly-industrialised countries like Brazil, Russia and even China, the ambassador said poverty is the worst polluter, quoting former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

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