China and India urged to avoid car obsession

Large developing countries such as China and India need to take steps to avoid becoming over-reliant on private cars, Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the UN climate panel, said on Sunday.

Investing in improving railways and urban public transport was one way that countries like China could balance the need to tackle climate change with continued economic growth, Reuters reported the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as saying.

"This excessive and growing reliance on private vehicular transport is certainly something that doesn’t suit large, populous countries like China and India," Pachauri said.

In a separate report in the Guardian newspaper, Pauchauri accused rich countries of failing to take a lead on cutting greenhouse-gas emissions. "Looking at the politics of the situation, I doubt whether any of the developing countries will make any commitments before they have seen the developed countries take a specific stand," he was quoted as saying.