India calls for developed nations to share green technology

India’s environment minister, Jairam Ramesh, is calling for rich nations to make climate change technology available to developing countries free of charge.

Speaking to delegates from 50 nations at a two-day technology seminar in New Delhi yesterday, Ramesh said a shared ‘knowledge pool’ should be created.

The seminar is the last such meeting before a new round of climate change negotiations in Cancun at the end of this month. It’s aimed at agreeing how developing nations can acquire emissions-cutting technology – a key element of the Cancun summit.

Ramesh cited agriculture as one area in which richer nations had been prepared to place their intellectual property in the public domain, and called for similar efforts on carbon-cutting technology.

“We conceive technology mechanism as a network of innovation centers in different areas, in different parts of the world,” he said.

“We will talk about collaboration and networking of existing institutions which are already working in areas of climate change. This is the quickest and the most effective way of showing adaptation mechanism.”

Yesterday, US president Barack Obama agreed to cooperate with India on clean energy research.

“We agreed to deepen our co-operation in pursuit of clean energy technologies, including the creation of a new clean energy research centre here in India, and continuing our joint research into solar, biofuels, shale gas and building efficiency,” said Obama.

But there are concerns internationally that the US and China are not pulling their weight on cutting emissions, and that trade imbalances could ensue.

Ramesh warned that time could be wasted on such issues at Cancun, and indicated he was not prepared to see discussion get bogged down.

“We have learnt from the past and will not waste too much time to discuss on issues that are very controversial on which we do not expect any agreement, either at Cancun or beyond that,” he said. “We will have opportunities in future to discuss on these issues.”