India sends emission cut plan to UN, leaves out farm sector
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As the January 31 deadline came to an end, all the key countries, including India, China, US and the European Union, have formally 'associated' themselves with the Copenhagen Accord and put on record the actions they intend to take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, thereby completing the first task towards a comprehensive global agreement on climate change expected in Mexico at the end of this year.
While the US, EU and China had informed the UN climate secretariat about their decisions earlier, India sent its formal letter on Sunday. The letter contains details of actions that India proposes to take on its own, in a non-binding way, to bring down its emissions.
In keeping with the promise it had made ahead of the Copenhagen climate change conference in December, India has informed the UNFCCC that it will endeavour to reduce its emissions intensity, or the amount of gases that are emitted in producing one unit of GDP, by about 20-25 per cent by the year 2020 in comparison to 2005. New Delhi has stressed this target was purely voluntary in nature and could not be made legally binding.
In an important exclusion, India has also clarified that emissions from agriculture would be exempt from being calculated to assess the country's emissions intensity. As such, the target taken by India would not apply to the agriculture sector.
The Copenhagen Accord — the outcome of the climate conference in the Danish capital in December — required all countries to inform the UNFCCC about the actions they intended to take to reduce emissions by January 31.
Like India, all the other countries who have sent in their formal communication to the UNFCCC have stuck to their promises made ahead of the Copenhagen conference.
The US has committed itself to a 17 per cent reduction in its emissions by 2020 from 2005 levels. It has said it would increase its commitment if a pending domestic legislation on climate was passed by its Senate. The EU has offered to reduce its reductions by 20 per cent by 2020 from 1990 levels. It said it will take on a 30 per cent reduction if other major countries also make similar ambitious cuts.
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