India and China sign climate pact

The world's two most populous nations sign deal to fight climate change.

    Al Gore said that US and Chinese co-operation is vital in the fight against climate change [Reuters]

    in depth
      Haitians face climate despair
      India's disappearing coastline
      Kenya drought 'has spared no one'
      The 'ground zero' of climate change
      Central Asian lake under threat
    India and China are among the world's biggest polluters and both have rejected binding emissions cuts, arguing that carbon caps will hinder their quest to alleviate poverty in their countries.

    "There is no difference between Indian and Chinese position [on climate change]," said Jairam Ramesh, the Indian environment minister, adding that their stance "fully protects and promotes the interests  of developing nations".

    The signing of the pact comes after Al Gore, the former US vice-president, said that co-operation between the United States and China is crucial in fighting climate change.

    Gore is in Beijing for a three-day forum on clean energy co-operation, and has urged the nations to work together on wind, solar and geothermal power.

    "The strategic partnership between the United States and China, as it is beginning to emerge, is a fateful one, an important one, a crucial one, if the world is going to be successful in addressing this crisis," he said at the forum.

    Mounting pressure

    Pressure has been mounting on the US to establish a position before the global conference in December.

    Gore said he was confident the US Senate would pass a climate change bill before the conference and said a previously watered-down bill could be amended later to strengthen its provisions.

    India and China agreed to cut carbon emissions as long as it does not hinder growth [EPA]

    Wealthy nations are seeking broad controls on emissions from all countries
    in the new agreement, while developing countries say emissions limits would
    obstruct their economic growth and that industrialised nations should carry most of the burden.

    As a compromise, developing countries say they would be willing to accept
    compensation for the economic costs of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, the environmental group Greenpeace said on Monday that at least $140bn a year will be needed.

    On Wednesday, Hu Jintao, the Chinese president, said his government was hopeful
    that the Copenhagen talks would be fruitful.

    Hu promised in a speech at the United Nations last month to make
    "substantial" reductions in China's carbon dioxide emissions per unit of economic output.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.