India Says Global Climate Accord Must Include Principle of Carbon Budget

A global climate accord must include the principle of a climate budget that is shared between nations based on their historical emissions, India’s environment minister said.

“In the next six months in the run-up to Cancun, India will take the leadership role on the issue of a global carbon budget,” Jairam Ramesh told reporters in Mumbai today, referring to an overall limit on emissions of greenhouse gases.

World leaders should devise a treaty that limits temperature increases to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) since the 1800s, protects tropical forests and creates a “revolution” in energy infrastructure, scientists including 20 Nobel Prize winners said last month. A carbon budget is needed to measure greenhouse gas output in 2020 and 2050, the scientists said. Developed countries should aim to cut emissions by 25 percent to 40 percent by 2020, they said.

How much countries are entitled to emit within that budget should be determined “equitably” and account for what they’ve historically already released into the atmosphere, Ramesh said.

“India cannot and will not accept any international agreement in which equity is absent, in which equitable access to global atmospheric space is absent,” he said.

China, South Africa and Brazil support India on this concept and will be discuss it next month at their meeting in Rio de Janeiro, he said.

The United Nations is aiming to broker a global climate treaty in December in Copenhagen. The agreement should ensure carbon-dioxide output peaks by 2015 and are cut to half the 1990 levels by 2050, the scientists said in a two-page memorandum.

Top climate negotiators from more than 190 countries will meet in the Mexican seaside resort of Cancun in November in a renewed bid to craft a treaty on greenhouse-gas emission reductions.

To contact the reporter on this story: Natalie Obiko Pearson in Mumbai at

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