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India: ‘It is morally wrong for us to reduce emissions when 40% of Indians do not have access to electricity’

India Balking on Carbon Sequestration

Issue pits developed countries against developing countries.

Apr 13, 2009

While the world’s developed countries push for a form of carbon sequestration, the more undeveloped nations, such as India, are not likely to participate in a significant reduction of carbon emissions. In fact, Indian officials have said it was unlikely they would agree to binding emission cuts. One Indian official recently said it is morally wrong for us to agree to reduce when 40% of Indians do not have access to electricity.

In India the choice is simple. Pursue urgently needed economic growth to reduce poverty or address climate change. India has repeatedly said it will not compromise on growth by committing to emission reduction goals set by developed nations, which it deems bigger culprits when it comes to pollution. Critics describe carbon capture and storage as being simply a gimmick that allows carbon-spewing industries to carry on with business as usual.

In a policy document released in January, India called for industrialized countries to commit to significant emission reduction targets while aiding sustainable development in developing nations with funds and technology. But, the developed countries say there will be no money available for developing countries because of the global economic slump.