Indian environment minister Jairam Ramesh said today that developed countries should not ''expect miracles'' from developing countries at the global climate summit in Copenhagen in December, and the goals for greenhouse gas emission control should be more "realistic".
"We must aim for low hanging fruit," Ramesh told a seminar at Columbia University in New York called 'India's road to Copenhagen', indicating that the controls being sought by advanced countries were too high.
Ramesh added that India should not be singled out as ''the obstructionist''. Instead, industrialised countries should agree on realistic targets for cutting emissions by 2020, he said.
He added that the summit in the Danish capital should focus on achieving a consensus in areas like increasing forestation to promote carbon sequestration, strengthening the clean development mechanism, and technology-sharing.
Ramesh's comments assume significance in light of his remarks earlier this week, when he said that India is ready to quantify the amount of planet-warming gas emissions it could cut. So far, India has steadfastly refused to commit itself to any targets in this regard.
"We do not see a problem in giving a broad indicative number on the quantity of (emission) reduction as a result of our domestic unilateral actions," Ramesh said. The emission reduction would not take the shape of legally binding targets open to outside scrutiny. Nor would it form a new negotiating position for India, Ramesh clarified.