IPCC Chairman Takes Up Post as Chinese Government’s Climate Advisor
Photo courtesy Chief Joseph.
BEIJING: Two Indians, Amartya Sen and Rajendra Pachauri, opened and closed the International Conference on Environment and Development in Beijing over the past three days. But there is still a big question mark on whether India and China will speak in the same voice at the Copenhagen Climate summit next December.
“I doubt China will dilute its stand or go with the United States on the issue,” Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change told TNN on the sidelines of the conference on Friday. He did not agree with people who felt that China might break away from India on the issue.
At present, both India and China are opposing western pressure to enforce mandatory limits on emissions and even punish countries that fail to meet emission standards that will be set at the Copenhagen conference. But there are many who fear that the United States might succeed in getting China to change its stand.
“I am concerned about a possible under cover agreement between the United States and China. That would produce a weak agreement at Copenhagen, which would not be good either for Europe or India,” Laurence Tubiana, director, global public goods at European Union’s ministry of foreign and European affairs told this correspondent.
The worst case scenario would be every country does what it likes and there are no binding limits of any kind. That would result in a backlash from the industry in Europe, which is already implementing rules on emission restrictions, she said.
Pachauri, who is also on an advisory panel of the Chinese government, feels Beijing will not come under pressure from either western governments or multinational companies operating in China.
“China is very good at resisting pressures. Chinese leaders never sacrifice their national interests under external pressures,” he said. His views on the issue may be somewhat different from that of Jairam Ramesh, the minister of state (independent charge) for environment and forests, who has been wary about possible changes in China’s position.
Pachauri, who received the Nobel Prize on behalf of the IPCC, said India will not come under any pressure to agree on issues it is opposing, India will not agree to any mandatory limits on emissions and would reject any attempt to impose a global regime of verification and reporting, he said.
A lot of work has been done in China to develop renewal energy and even India has shown impressive progress although it started out a little late in this direction, he said. Pachauri said he was also impressed by China’s efforts at developing renewal sources of energy and building a massive network of railways that is much less polluting than road vehicles.
Copyright 2009, TOI
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