Danish PM tells India to speed up climate talks

Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen visits India on Thursday in a bid to speed up negotiations on a climate deal ahead of a key summit in Copenhagen in December, his office said.

Rasmussen’s three-day trip will include meetings with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh and the UN’s top climate scientist Rajendra Pachauri, who is chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

India, the world’s third-biggest polluter, fears the fight against global warming will hamper its economic development and has insisted that wealthy, developed nations take responsibility for the consequences of climate change.

Like China, it refuses to commit to detailed carbon dioxide reductions in any international treaty.

World leaders will meet in Denmark in December to negotiate a new international accord on fighting climate change after the Kyoto Protocol requirements expire in 2012.

On Tuesday, at the start of the Nordic Climate Solutions conference gathering decision-makers and businessmen in Copenhagen, Rasmussen said the negotiations were progressing slowly “in all areas.”

“It’s very difficult because these are not just issues concerning the climate,” but also the economy and technology, he said.

“Take the example of India, where I will meet the Indian prime minister who wants to gives his population of one billion some prosperity and who therefore doesn’t want to commit to restrictive reductions unless the world brings new technology to his country,” Rasmussen said.

The Danish leader will also hold talks on foreign policy and the economy, his office said in a statement.

Denmark and India are due to sign a cooperation accord on the environment during Rasmussen’s visit.