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World Briefing / India

Climate talks get heated

July 20, 2009|Times Wire Reports

India stood firm against Western demands to accept binding limits on carbon emissions even as visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton expressed optimism about an eventual climate change deal to India's benefit.

"There is simply no case for the pressure that we -- who have among the lowest emissions per capita -- face to actually reduce emissions," India's minister of environment and forests, Jairam Ramesh, told Clinton and her delegation in a meeting. "And as if this pressure was not enough, we also face the threat of carbon tariffs on our exports to countries such as yours," he added.

Clinton said Ramesh presented a "fair argument." But she said India's case "loses force" because the fast-growing country's absolute level of carbon emissions -- as opposed to the per capita amount -- is "going up and dramatically." Later, she said she was optimistic about getting a climate deal that will satisfy India.

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