By Subramaniam Sharma
Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- India called for a transparent regime that will enable the transfer of technology from rich countries to the poor to help reduce heat-trapping pollution and limit the effects of climate change.
``We in the developing world desperately need access to environment-friendly technologies,'' Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said at a summit on climate change organized by the Energy and Resources Institute in New Delhi today. ``It is in the interests of people living in developed countries to facilitate such transfer.''
Emerging economies, including India, have said they need access to funds and technologies such as wind turbines to meet emission curbs and sustain growth. India needs environment- friendly technology, especially in energy, transportation, manufacturing and agriculture, Singh said.
The Prime Minister reiterated that India will contain emissions of carbon dioxide per capita below that of developed nations and will unveil an action plan on climate change in June.
India requires $5 billion a year between 2012 and 2017, in addition to its current investment plans, to support a transition to low-carbon energy generation, the United Nations Development Program said in its Human Development Report 2007/2008, citing research by the Energy and Resources Institute.
India was among the 16 countries, which together account for 80 percent of global pollution, that met in Honolulu earlier this year to advance UN efforts to draft a new climate-change accord by the end of next year. At a conference at Bali, Indonesia, in December, India had opposed binding emission targets for developing countries and sought funds for clean-energy technologies.
Countries such as Norway say the developed nations need to contribute in the efforts of the poor to contain emissions.
``We have to create mechanisms which make it possible for the rich world to transfer technologies and finance mitigations and adaptation,'' Jens Stoltenberg, prime minister of Norway, said at the summit today. ``Without that, we will not be able to get big enough reductions in emissions.''
Global consensus needs to be reached by next year as the emission-limiting Kyoto treaty expires in 2012. India, which accounts for 16 percent of the world's population, will need to reach agreement on reducing gases with the 15 other countries.
50 Percent Cut
Japan, the European Union and Canada have proposed reducing global emissions by 50 percent by 2050. During negotiations in Bali, the U.S. opposed a proposal by the EU and developing nations to cut emissions 25 to 40 percent by 2020.
``We cannot continue with a global development model in which some countries continue to maintain high carbon emissions, while the development options available for developing countries get constrained,'' Singh said today.
India's per capita carbon dioxide emissions are about 1 ton a year, compared with a world average of 4 tons a year.
India needs to bring more of its degraded land under forest cover and cut energy consumption as part of its efforts to combat problems arising from climate change, Singh said. The government is planning to set up a venture capital fund to promote green technologies, he said.
Singh has asked the Planning Commission, the body that prepares India's five-year economic and social programs, to frame a ``comprehensive policy'' on public transport, which needs ``immediate attention'' to check pollution.
India spends 2 percent of its gross domestic product on measures to adapt to climate change, according to a document titled Addressing Energy Security and Climate Change posted on the Ministry of Environment and Forests' Web site.
Asia's third-biggest economy is the world's fourth-largest emitter of carbon dioxide, according to the UNDP's Human Development Report 2007/2008. Between 1990 and 2004, emissions climbed by 97 percent, one of the fastest rates of increase in the world, the report said.
The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which oversaw the Bali negotiations, will hold its next gathering of all its members in Poland in December.
There needs to be a debate within India on issues such as energy-pricing policies, Singh said.
India caps fuel prices to control inflation and hasn't allowed an increase since June 2006 even as oil prices rose 57 percent last year and surged to $100 a barrel last month. The government compensates state-run refiners for the loss they suffer on account of selling fuel at prices below cost.
``Are we encouraging overuse of resources through misdirected subsidies?'' said Singh. ``Are we hurting our future energy security by shrinking the responsibility to grapple with the political challenges at hand?''
To contact the reporter on this story: Subramaniam Sharma in New Delhi at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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