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China, India to escape carbon hair shirt?

UN's climate veggie thinks so

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The Nobel Prize winning chairman of the UN's climate change committee, Rajendra K Pachauri, has said the the world's largest developing economies will be exempt from international pressure to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

Pachauri's role is to reflect on the state of the science, and create a range of scenarios for politicians. But he regularly abandons the "policy neutral" brief and has consistently demanded the urgent adoption of "mitigation" policies - to be reflected in changes to industrial policy - rather than "adaptation".

"Of course, the developing countries will be exempted from any such restrictions but the developed countries will certainly have to cut down on emission," the Economic Times of India reports the well-known vegetarian telling a domestic audience in New Delhi.

Pauchauri has called for anthropogenic CO2 emissions (around 26.4 gigatonnes a year, compared to over 700 gigatonnes released by oceans and biomatter) to be "stabilized" by 2015, with a fall by 2020. He said that Europe and USA must make steep cuts in emissions.

Copenhagen plays host for a conference to agree the successor to the Kyoto agreement - but the developing nations' appetite for accepting binding restrictions by foreign powers is limited.

"It's difficult for China to take quantified emission reduction quotas at the Copenhagen conference, because this country is still at an early stage of development," Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao told the FT this week, referring to the conference this year that international successor to Kyoto. "Europe started its industrialisation several hundred years ago, but for China, it has only been dozens of years."

Business Green added that, "Indian officials have already indicated that they are unlikely to agree to a mandatory cap on emissions in Copenhagen, while Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin took a similarly non-committal stance on climate change in his keynote address at the Davos forum."

So that just leaves Europe and the USA, then. ®

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