India, China sign agreement to address climate change

      India and China signed a major agreement on cooperation in addressing climate change issues here on Wednesday. The five-year agreement was signed by Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh and China ’s Minister for National Development and Reforms Xie Zhehua. It calls for cooperation on various issues related to climate change at various levels. Speaking on the occasion Zhehua said China considers India a sincere and devoted friend and expressed confidence that both countries would make a positive contribution at the Copenhagen Summit. "Both India and China are collaborating to ensure a fair and equitable outcome at Copenhagen . An outcome that is in keeping with the principles of the Rio Convention of 1992, the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 and the Bali Action Plan of 2007. There is to my mind virtually no difference between the Indian and the Chinese negotiating position," Ramesh said "We will be discussing further what India and China should be doing to ensuring a successful outcome at Copenhagen that fully protects and promotes, not only protects but also promotes the interest of developing countries like China and like India," he added. According to the new agreement both India and China will hold regular ministerial consultations aimed at deepening their cooperation in combating climate change. An India -China Working Group will be established for an exchange of views on an annual basis on matters related to international negotiations on climate change. The two sides agreed to increase their cooperation in technology development relating to reduction of green house gas emission in the fields of energy conservation, clean coal, afforestation, sustainable habitat and transportation among other issues. Both India and China will also enhance their cooperation mitigating the impact of climate change. Joint research, capacity building, public private partnership are some of other aspects of climate change in which the two sides will cooperate.

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