India is warning against fresh moves by some developed countries for a “weak” global accord to ensure planet-friendly climate. The developing countries are also coming together to oppose a parallel move by the developed bloc to “set aside” the existing Kyoto Protocol.
Another theme in focus at the ongoing climate talks in Bangkok is the mobilisation of technical and financial resources to address global warming.
India’s Special Envoy on Climate Change Issues Shyam Saran told The Hindu from Bangkok on Thursday that New Delhi’s approach to these and other issues was governed by a sense of “very active and constructive participation” in the negotiations.
Asked whether the signals at the Bangkok talks were conducive to a decisive outcome at the planned year-end conference in Copenhagen, he said India’s “stake in a successful, meaningful and ambitious outcome” was much “greater” than that of the developed bloc.
However, drawing an apparent red line and without describing it as such, Mr. Saran said: “We are not in a position to accept an outcome which, in a sense, supersedes the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change or represents a major deviation from the UNFCC and [which] is not also in consonance with the mandate of the Bali Action Plan.”
He said: “There is, right now, an effort on the part of several delegations to set aside the Kyoto Protocol and to talk in terms of a new arrangement with regard to [carbon] emission reductions”. The new arrangement, as envisioned by its protagonists, “will not only include the developing countries but will also find a way of including the United States, which has been outside the Kyoto Protocol.”
He noted that “the [intended] result is that a fully valid protocol, to which we are also a party, will be lightly set aside.”
Noting that India’s position “virtually applies to all developing countries,” Mr. Saran said: “Much of what is being suggested for this new arrangement will mean: ‘not enhanced commitments by the developed countries for their emission reduction but, in fact, a much more diminished implementation’.” Unlikely in this scenario would be “the strong compliance procedure which is currently in the protocol.”
The prospect, he warned, was that “we are in danger of ending up with a climate regime which will be much weaker than what the international community had agreed to by consensus.” During the current negotiations, “there is not much clarity,” either, on the critical issue of mobilising resources for climate-related action by the developing countries.
Mr. Saran said: “Our view is that no international instrument [like the Kyoto Protocol] should be set aside in such a light manner.
“There is a procedure laid down in the treaty for its review, for its amendment, and, if people want to do something to [have it] superseded, this is not the forum where this should be addressed. ... The setting aside of the Kyoto Protocol was not part of the agenda [in the Bali Action Plan].
“In fact, the idea was that those who are outside the Kyoto Protocol will come up with a commitment that will be comparable to the commitments which are being made by the parties to the Protocol. It doesn’t mean that in order to bring [in] one party or make it easier for the other parties, we just set aside the Kyoto Protocol. That is not the way to go about it.”