India gives conditional green light to emission cuts

NEW DELHI, November 28, 2009 (AFP) – Indian Premier Manmohan Singh said Saturday he was willing to commit his country to “ambitious” global carbon emission cuts, provided others shared the burden. Home to nearly 1.2 billion people, India is the only major greenhouse gas emitting nation yet to announce figures on reining in its carbon output, with just over a week to go until UN climate talks start in Copenhagen.

“India is willing to sign on to an ambitious global target for emissions reductions or limiting temperature increase but this must be accompanied by an equitable burden sharing paradigm,” Singh said in a speech, the text of which was released by his office in New Delhi.

Singh gave no indication of any figures India might propose, or whether it would be an absolute cut, like those Europe and Japan have on the table, or a proportional cut like that offered by China.

India’s CNN-IBN and Times Now TV networks reported Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh was set to offer overall cuts of between 20 and 25 percent. But a ministry official said she was unaware of any such commitment.

Singh was speaking in Port of Spain, the capital of Trinidad and Tobago, where he was atten