India on Thursday announced it would voluntarily reduce its carbon emissions by 20% to 25% of 2005 levels by 2020, rather than signing on to any legally binding international agreement to combat global warming.
Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh told parliament the government planned a broad range of measures to meet the emissions target, including the introduction of fuel efficiency rules for vehicles by December 2011, an energy-efficient building code and a requirement that half of all new coal-fired generators use clean coal technology.
Ramesh said the measures would be part of a transition to a low-carbon economy – a transition that was in India’s “own self-interest” given the threat it faces from global warming.
“We are not doing the world a favor,” he said. “Forget Copenhagen. Forget the US. Our future as a society depends on how we respond to the climate change challenge.”