India has recently become concerned about its image as an uncooperative country with regard to mitigating global warming. The Indian government has long resisted any international verification of its greenhouse gas emission reductions, probably because 60% of India’s power comes from coal generation and reductions would impact the fragile economy of this very poor country much more than similar cuts would in richer countries that use less coal. In late 2009 India began contemplating a change in its policy that would set internal targets for greenhouse gas reductions. These limits would not be internationally binding, nor would they be verified by any international organization. The main impetus for this policy change seems to have been a desire to go into the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Summit at Copenhagen with something to point to as progress by India toward climate change mitigation. It seems that what India really wants is money from richer nations to help it mitigate the economic effects of the cuts. When you consider that India is 5th in the world in carbon emissions, far behind the United States which is a much richer country and can handle cuts more easily, this is not an unreasonable request. Whether these targets will have any real effect remains to be seen.
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