India has taken the first steps towards developing a national plan on tackling the effects of climate change.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh chaired a meeting of top government officials and environmental experts which agreed to draft a national policy by October. But the body has not set any targets to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. India and China are among the world's largest polluters and are coming under international pressure to agree to mandatory emission cuts. Other countries want them to make the cuts ahead of a key meeting in December.

A recent report by environmental experts said India would be among the countries worst affected by climate change. In his opening remarks at the meeting of India's National Council for Climate Change, Mr Singh acknowledged the scale of the problem. The growing needs of the Indian economy put pressure on national resources, he said.


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