Page last updated at 12:25 GMT, Friday, 3 July 2009 13:25 UK

Japan urges India climate action

Traffic jam, New Delhi
India's climate plan has been criticised for not tackling transport emissions

The Japanese Foreign Minister, Hirofumi Nakasone, has urged India to play more of an active role in combating global warming and climate change.

Speaking at a joint news conference in Tokyo with the visiting Indian Foreign Minister SM Krishna, Mr Nakasone said India should exercise more leadership.

He said Delhi could do so in a more positive way and with more perspective.

The Indian minister responded by saying that any deal to combat global warming must be fair for emerging nations.

'Ambitious and equitable'

"We agreed that climate change is an important global challenge," Mr Krishna said. He is on a four-day visit to Japan.

Indian Foreign Minister SM Krishna (left) with Japanese PM Taro Aso in Tokyo
Tokyo argues Delhi should lead the fight against climate change

"We hope that all countries will participate constructively."

The Indian foreign minister stressed the need for "an ambitious and at the same time equitable and fair outcome" at the Copenhagen international climate conference later this year.

He said that any international climate change agreement must ensure that developing countries "are able to continue their economic growth at an accelerated pace".

The December summit in Denmark is intended to secure a new international agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

India - like China - has refused to commit to emission cuts in the new treaty until developed nations, particularly the US, also pledge to meet climate change targets.

Mr Nakasone said that Delhi could play a leading role in persuading other developing countries to commit themselves to a new treaty.

"I expressed my hope and expectations for India to exercise its leadership even more positively and comprehensively," he said.

"The minister and I shared the view that we should step up our bilateral dialogue on this issue."

Japan announced in June that it hoped to cut its own greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of 8% from 1990 levels by the end of the next decade.

But that target has been described as too little, too late by environmentalists.

Mr Krishna's visit is the first to Japan by an Indian minister since Prime Minister Manmohan Singh named his new cabinet in May.

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