U.S. says no China-style climate deal in works for India

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 10, 2014 6:13 PM

LIMA (Reuters) - The United States on Wednesday played down prospects for a wide-ranging deal with India to curb greenhouse gas emissions next year along the lines of a plan agreed to with China last month.

President Barack Obama will visit India in January at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The visit has prompted speculation that the two nations might be preparing cooperation on climate change similar to a U.S. plan with Beijing.

"We don’t have that kind of process going on with India," U.S. climate envoy Todd Stern told a news conference during Dec. 1-12 talks among 190 nations in Lima on ways to slow global warming.

China is the top greenhouse gas emitter, ahead of the United States, the European Union and India.

Under a joint U.S.-China announcement last month, the United States will cut its emissions by between 26 and 28 percent from 1990 levels by 2025 and China agreed to cap its fast-rising emissions around 2030, its first peak.

Stern also said that he did not expect Beijing to give details of the size of the peak of emissions when it submits plans to the United Nations next year, under promises for national climate action.

The pledges are to be part of a global deal to be reached at a summit in Paris next December.

China's per capita greenhouse gas emissions have surged in recent years to match average EU levels, while India's are below the world average.

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That puts less pressure on India to cut emissions. "India is in a completely different economic situation from China," said Robert Stavins, director of the Harvard Environmental Economics Program.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will visit Lima on Thursday to underscore the U.S. commitment to a deal in Paris next year, without announcing new policies, a senior State Department official said.

(Reporting By Alister Doyle in Lima and Patricia Zengerle in Washington; Editing by Dan Grebler)