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Climate change declaration at G8 important step forward
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The declaration on climate change made by the world's largest economies in L'Aquila, Italy on Friday is an important step toward achieving global consensus on reducing greenhouse gas emission and halting global warming, a senior Indian scholar said on Saturday.

Ajay Singh, a professor and political analyst of a reputed Indian university, told Xinhua the declaration also paved the way for success at the Copenhagen Climate Summit to be held in December.

The participants at the G8 summit were from the most developed countries and the most dynamic developing countries of the world, whose greenhouse gas emissions account for more than 75 percent of the world's total, Singh said.

He said that this was the first time industrial countries had agreed specifically to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050, and all countries to the 2-degree target (future warming should be an increase of less than 2 degrees Celsius).

Singh said what was encouraging was that developed countries had principally agreed to provide relevant technology and funds to developing countries for environmental protection and industry reforms.

He noted that for developing countries whose living standards are much lower than those of developed ones, economic and social development remains the priority.

He quoted Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as saying that India, as a responsible member of the international community, recognizes its obligations to preserve and protect its environment, but climate change cannot be addressed at the cost of development, especially to that of developing countries.

The prime minister was also quoted as saying the international community needs to evolve a coherent strategy of growth that brings about a higher standard of living without harming the environment.

Singh said India firmly believes that the free transfer of technology and provision of funds by developed countries to developing ones should be one of the pre-conditions for developing countries to achieve climate change goals.

"This is why India will host a conference on technology development and transfer related to climate change in October in New Delhi," he said.

Singh said one of the major goals of the New Delhi conference is to develop and share green technology by both developed and developing countries.

He said he agreed with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair that in the next 10 years, a 70-percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions can be achieved through increasing energy efficiency, reducing deforestation, and using lower-carbon and renewable energy.

But all this needs a lot of money and technology, Singh said.

(Xinhua News Agency July 11, 2009)

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