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Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh told Parliament the country plans to reduce by 20 percent to 25 percent the ratio of pollution to production compared with 2005 levels.

AP/Michael von Bülow04/12/2009 00:05

India will significantly slow the growth of its climate-warming carbon dioxide emissions over the next decade as its economy keeps expanding, an official said Thursday ahead of world climate change talks.

However, the developing country will not accept a binding emissions reduction target, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said.

Ramesh told Parliament the country plans to reduce by 20 percent to 25 percent the ratio of pollution to production compared with 2005 levels. The announcement comes just days before world leaders are set gather in Denmark to discuss a new climate pact.

As one of the world’s largest populations with a fast-growing economy, India has been under pressure to bring its own emissions-reduction plan to the UN climate talks in Copenhagen following pledges by the US and China — the world’s top two emitters of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming — to reduce their own pollution.

India ranks fifth in world carbon dioxide emissions, accounting for 4.7 percent of the world’s emissions, according to Ramesh.

To reach its objective, the Indian government will introduce mandatory fuel efficiency standards in 2011, enforce building codes for greater energy efficiency, and deploy cleaner technology in coal-fired power plants, Ramesh said.

India had previously announced a plan to build a massive 20,000 megawatt solar energy facility by 2022.