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Indian businesses are hoping that Copenhagen will open a slew of new opportunities for green businesses. These hopes got a boost this week with the announcement by environment minister Jairam Ramesh that India will voluntarily cut its carbon emission intensity by 20-25 per cent from its 2005 levels.

This is a significant shift in policy because till now, India had set targets for lowering energy intensity (measured as units of energy per unit of GDP). Now the emphasis will be on reducing carbon emissions per unit of GDP. This will bring into play new areas that go beyond improving energy efficiency. For example, the conservation of forests which help absorb carbon dioxide will become important.

Another thrust area will be increasing the share of renewable energy in the overall energy mix.

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