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UK and India collaborate to focus on low carbon growth

Minister calls for 'fresh approach' to tackling poverty and global warming.

The UK and India have agreed to work in partnership to help the Indian economy grow in a more energy efficient way, cutting emissions and helping businesses reduce their reliance on energy.

Greg Barker, minister of state for Climate Change and Energy, said that low carbon growth should be the focus of the UK's partnership with India.

The energy intensity of India's economy improved by a third between 1990 and 2007, making it more efficient than the US or China.

However, India has committed to further cut the emissions intensity of its economy by 20%-25% by 2020. Both the countries agreed to exchange experience on trading schemes and kick-start the market to channel investment into industrial energy efficiency.

Mr Barker said: "The new government is determined to bring a fresh approach to the climate debate. Last year in the run up to Copenhagen the UK lectured India on climate issues, despite the fact that 450 million people still don't have electricity.

"It's now time to stop preaching, start listening and get on with practical solutions which will tackle both poverty and climate change and create real green business opportunities."

A project between the UK and Indian Government to tackle deforestation was also set in motion which will look at the opportunity and scope of restoring forests which will benefit the climate, biodiversity and local communities.