India's greenhouse gas emissions would never exceed those of developed nations, said Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
Talking to reporters after inaugurating an exhibition on climate change, Mukherjee said that the country has made the firm commitment that its per capita emissions would never exceed the average of the developed countries'.
"It is inevitable that the pursuit of social and economic development alone with the poverty eradication by developing countries will result in increase in their greenhouse gas emissions in the foreseeable future. Despite this, India has made the firm commitment and the commitment has been made by Prime Minister of the country that it will not allow its per capita...emissions to exceed the average per capita emissions of the developed countries at any point of the development trajectories of our country," he added.
In the latest sign India wants to appear flexible ahead of the December negotiations in Copenhagen on cutting climate-harming emissions.
Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said that New Delhi would scale back demands for deep emission cuts by rich nations if a global climate deal includes a generous package of technology transfers and finance.
Ramesh said that India would no longer insist on 40 percent cuts in emissions by 2020, though Prime Minister Manmohan Singh later clarified that there would be no change in India's position.
Many countries are unwilling to commit to cuts before knowing the position of the United States, the world's biggest emitter per capita, where legislators are unlikely to pass laws outlining their promises on carbon cuts until next year.
Developing countries such as India and China are among the most threatened by climate change, but their huge populations mean they will still be heavily reliant on burning fossil fuels to try to lift millions out of poverty.
Developing countries, under no obligation to make any cuts under the existing Kyoto protocol, say they could make the shift to low-carbon economy with a helping hand from the rich.
But negotiations have struggled on disagreement over how far rich countries should fund action in developing countries.