India will host the second ministerial meeting of a grouping of six Asia-Pacific nations Monday that will focus on joint strategies on dealing with twin challenges of climate change and clean development.
"The meeting will provide an opportunity to not only take stock but also to impart the necessary political impetus to consolidate this partnership and promote clean development," Meena Gupta, secretary in the ministry of environment and forests, told reporters Wednesday at a press conference.
Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon, who addressed the media along with Gupta, stressed on India's commitment to clean energy and climate change and said that this partnership has elicited positive response from other like-minded countries like Canada.
The ministerial meeting, to be held at Hotel Maurya Sheraton, will launch an action plan around 18 projects, which have been identified by task forces, to spur the use of energy efficient technologies and to tackle climate change without allowing it to come in the way of development.
Eight task forces have been set up in areas of cleaner fossil energy, renewable energy and distributed generation, power generation and transmission, steel, aluminium, cement, coal mining and buildings and appliances.
The six-nation Asia Pacific Partnership (APP) was announced in Vientiane two years ago and comprises India, the US, China, Japan, Australia and South Korea which together account for nearly half of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.
With climate change becoming a key global issue and an important agenda at the summit of the G-8 grouping of the world's most industrialised countries, India is fine-tuning a climate change strategy, ahead of a key United Nations meeting in Bali, Indonesia, in December.
The meeting in Bali will seek to extend or replace the 10-year-old Kyoto Protocol and look beyond post-2012 emission-cut commitments. India, like China, has maintained that binding cuts will adversely impact its efforts to lift its people out of poverty as rich countries have reached their present state of prosperity through an industrial growth fuelled by coal, oil and gas.
The Kyoto Protocol required industrialised countries to cut their output of six greenhouse gases by about five percent from their 1990 levels by 2012.
The APP seeks to explore an alternative model through which countries could combat climate change without compromising on development and does not envisage mandatory reduction targets for greenhouse gas emissions in stark contrast to the Kyoto Protocol.
The APP's vision statement speaks of developing, deploying and transferring existing and emerging clean technology; exploring technologies such as clean coal, nuclear power and carbon capture involving the private sector.