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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Transfer money, technologies to fight climate

WASHINGTON: Transfers of financial resources and technology by industrialised countries to developing countries "are fundamental to the success of  any Global strategy to address the issue" of climate change, finance minister P. Chidambaram has told a meeting of world financial leaders here.

Noting that developing countries are the most vulnerable to adverse effects of climate change, Chidambaram Sunday called for a higher World Bank support for adaptation efforts in the Climate Investment Funds, than the $500m envisaged.

The finance minister's statement to the Development Committee of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund was read out at its annual meeting here, held about six weeks before the next summit of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. At the last summit at Bali in December 2007 it had been estimated that developing countries would need $1.3bn a year to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change.

Climate change is caused by increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases - mainly carbon dioxide - due to uncontrolled industrial activities such as power generation from coal. The overwhelming increase in this concentration is due to activities in industrialised countries, especially since about the middle of the 19th century.

At the same time, Chidambaram pointed out: "There is no escape from the reality that for fast emerging developing countries consumption of commercial energy will increase, and even with continuing decline in energy intensity of GDP growth."

In India, about 400m people still do not have access to electricity, and the country is on a massive drive to increase power generation.

Reiterating India's commitment to evolve and pursue a strategy of environmentally sustainable development, Chidambaram said it aimed to ensure that its per capita carbon emissions will never exceed the average of the per capita emissions of developed countries.

This is a commitment first declared by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the 2007 G7 summit in Germany. While the principle has been opposed by both Republicans and Democrats in the US, most European Union countries and other developing countries have remained silent on it.

Adverse effects of climate change include fall in farm productivity, more frequent and more sever droughts, floods and storms and a rise in sea level. Experts around the world have identified India as one of the countries most vulnerable to the ill effects of climate change.


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