India and GHG caps

India GateNot a very shocking development but India’s environment minister said his country would not accept legally binding caps on greenhouse gases. That the announcement came during a joint press conference with Secretary of State Clinton shows the importance of India to a comprehensive international agreement on reducing carbon emissions.

China, rightly so, is the largest concern when it comes to the an international climate change agreement, but India is a close second. The rising Indian middle class is growing quickly and their tastes are shifting towards eating more meat and driving more cars. Tata Motors, the producer of the world’s cheapest car, already has a huge back order of over 100,000.

The United States has sought a closer relationship with India in the past few years including the controversial civilian nuclear deal. While the original intent of the new relationship may have been to hedge China’s rise or help US businesses enter into a growing market, the United States needs to use any influence it has with India to create a robust international climate change agreement.

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