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India to Propose Global Fund for Clean Energy Technologies

Calling itself a responsible nation towards climate change, India will propose a dedicated global fund at the G8 Outreach Summit Friday to finance the development of clean energy technologies based on the resources available with the developing world.

In a position paper on climate change circulated ahead of the G8 Outreach Summit, India has said it has in place comprehensive policy and legislative framework to address energy-environment issues.

"Due care must be taken not to allow growth and development prospects in the developing world to be undermined or constrained," said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, as he left for the Summit at the Baltic resort of Heiligendamm in Germany.

"I will emphasise the need not to lose sight of the accepted principle of common but differentiated responsibility and respective capabilities between the developed and developing world," the prime minister said.

"It is also a fact that more and not less development is the best way for developing countries to address themselves to the issue of preserving the environment and protecting the climate."

Along with Brazil, China, South Africa and Mexico, India has been invited by the G8 for the outreach summit at Heiligendamm, where the focus is on climate change, development and global trade talks, among other issues.

India will also make it clear that while it is open to some proposals on mitigating climate change from US President George W. Bush, it will oppose any move that will set standards to reduce emissions.

"There are elements in Bush's proposal we are very comfortable with. These are on equity, energy security and transfer of clean technology," a senior Indian official said.

"The rich countries have to show some flexibility," he said, adding: "We cannot allow climate change and development pulling in the opposite direction."

India's position paper says technolo gies to tap energy resources like biomass can be financed by a venture capital fund located with a multilateral financing institution, which will also have the rights to intellectual property.

The technologies so developed may then be given to developing countries at cost, while the rich nations can access them on a commercial basis, the paper says, adding the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate presented some examples of this approach.

The position paper says India's per capita emission of green gasses was only 23 percent of the global average and a mere 4 percent of that of the US, 12 percent of the EU and 15 percent of Japan.

There has also been an effective de-linking of energy and economic growths where the former has been expanding by 2.76 percent, while the gross domestic product has been growing at over 8 percent.

"In all major energy intensive sectors - steel, aluminium, fertiliser, paper, cement - levels of energy efficiency in India are at global levels," says the paper, and adds that such efficiency is particularly high in the cement sector.

It also says that introduction of compressed natural gas for public transport, improvement in transportation fuels, building of metros in the national capital and Bangalore went on to suggest the measures India has taken in the area of environment protection.

"No efforts at greenhouse gas mitigation will succeed if patterns of production and consumption in developed countries remain grossly unsustainable," the paper warns, and says India remains committed to the United Nations Framework Convention on climate change as well as the Kyoto Protocol.


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