India Rejects Climate Deal With Obama

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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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India has rejected pleas from the Obama administration to enter into an agreement to put a future limit on its greenhouse gas emissions in order to fight global warming.

President Barack Obama went abroad hoping to strike a climate deal with India — the world’s third-largest greenhouse-gas emitter — in order to build support for an international global warming treaty ahead of a United Nations summit later this year. But India had other ideas.

Obama wanted India to announce it would peak its greenhouse gas emissions by a certain year, mirroring a pledge China made last year to peak its emissions by 2030. But India’s government refused, not wanting to have to make a China-sized promise on climate.

“Having a peaking year was not acceptable to us,” an environment ministry official told the Hindustan Times.

U.S officials have offered India $1 billion to develop green energy. India has also been looking for funding to adapt to global warming– a major sticking point in negotiations between rich and poor countries in climate debates.

Secretary of State John Kerry went to India earlier this month trying to pave the way for a climate deal before Obama arrived, but he too was unsuccessful. The only agreement Kerry could make was to help fund India’s solar energy development.

Sources told the Hindustan Times that “India was also not willing to make any bilateral commitment until India submitted its intended domestically determined contribution” to fight global warming to the U.N. this year.

So what is India’s plan? The Times says the country will likely push an aggressive green energy agenda. The plan will likely include generating 100,000 megawatts of solar power and 55,000 megawatts of wind power. The plan could also include saving 20,000 megawatts of power through energy efficiency standards.

Obama’s failed attempt to come away with a climate agreement with India comes just months after the president announced the U.S. and China agreed to reduce their emissions. Obama pledged to reduce U.S. greenhouse gases 26 to 28 percent by 2025, while China promised to peak its emissions by 2030.

Republicans slammed Obama’s climate deal with China because it didn’t get any firm commitments from the Chinese, while it committed the U.S. to economically painful cuts. (KERRY: ‘This Is Also A Milestone In The United States-China Relationship’)

“In the president’s climate change deal, the United States will be required to more steeply reduce our carbon emissions while China won’t have to reduce anything,”  said Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

“It’s hollow and not believable for China to claim it will shift 20 percent of its energy to non-fossil fuels by 2030, and a promise to peak its carbon emissions only allows the world’s largest economy to buy time,” Inhofe added.

Indeed, China has already said it was increasing its coal use. The country also wants to tap into its vast shale natural gas reserves.

“The share of natural gas will be raised to above 10 percent and that of coal will be reduced to under 62 percent,” according to China’s State Council. “Production of both shale gas and coal-bed methane could reach 30 billion cubic meters by 2020.”

“Annual coal consumption will be held below 4.2 billion tonnes until 2020, 16.3 percent more than the 3.6 billion tonnes burned last year,” the State Council reports.

The U.S.-China climate deal unravelled during the U.N. climate talks in December. Chinese delegates demanded more climate aid be sent from rich countries to poor countries, and refused to agree to certain U.S,-backed provisions in a climate treaty draft. (OBAMA: ‘This Is A Major Milestone In The U.S.-China Relationship’)

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