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Updated: January 10, 2010 15:59 IST

BASIC to meet in Delhi, discuss targets under Copenhagen Accord

PTI
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FOLLOW UP: Minister of State for Environment and Forests, Jairam Ramesh. File photo
The Hindu FOLLOW UP: Minister of State for Environment and Forests, Jairam Ramesh. File photo

"The main challenge is that an agreement by 29 countries needs to be converted into one by 194 countries," said Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh.

With the Copenhagen Accord setting a January 31 deadline for the nations to specify 2020 emission targets and other steps, India will hold discussion with other BASIC group members comprising China, South Africa and Brazil in New Delhi on their climate strategy.

“I have invited my counterparts in the BASIC group to attend a meeting in New Delhi in the third week of January before everyone finalises the entry into the appendix (Accord),” Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said.

“The main challenge is that an agreement by 29 countries needs to be converted into one by 194 countries,” Mr. Ramesh pointed amid environmentalists’ demand not to endorse the Accord which they have termed “flawed” and “meaningless.”

While 194 countries, including the US, China and India, at the two-week UN summit in the Danish Capital last month took note of the Copenhagen deal, they were given until January 31 to list actions and targets to curb greenhouse gases causing global warming.

As per the Accord, Appendix 1 is intended for “economy-wide emissions targets” for 2020 for Annex-I (rich countries) while Appendix 2 is for “mitigation actions” by non-Annex I (developing) countries. These commitments can become operational immediately. Canada, along with Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Maldives, is among the first countries to officially notify the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change of its intention to sign on to the Copenhagen pact on climate change.

The accord, which was accepted by 29 countries, must pledge to keep the increase in global temperatures below two degrees Celsius, and developed countries must commit USD 100 billion by 2020 to the developing world to help emerging economies deal with their emissions. It does not include any caps on carbon emissions.

India on its part has a national action plan, commitment to reduce emission intensity by 20-25 per cent from 2005 levels and setting up of an expert group to look at low-carbon growth strategies to submit under the Accord, Mr. Ramesh added.

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