We have open mind, says Jayanthi Natarajan
The European Union (EU) on Friday blamed India for blocking a new legally-binding agreement, saying New Delhi was maintaining a “relatively tough stand”, preventing countries from arriving at a conclusion in Durban.
India said it was open to discussions if issues of equity — the right to grow — were taken into account.
EU climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard said there were two sticking points with India — the future of the legal form of the agreement and the timeframe in which countries should make the emission cuts.
The EU has proposed a “roadmap” for a single, legally-binding framework by 2015.
She said of the BASIC quartet, Brazil and South Africa had agreed to the EU's proposal while China had shown some flexibility, but India was maintaining a “relatively tough stand”.
“As of today, the agreement is within reach on the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol — the only existing legal regime — roadmap for negotiations and the future regime that would be global and legally binding,” said Ms. Hedegaard.
She said the EU's roadmap had been accepted by the majority of countries — small island states, least-developed countries and the African Union.
“But the success and failure of Durban depends on some countries which are not committed to the roadmap, so we have to get them on board,” she said.
Ms. Hedegaard said: “India wants to continue on two tracks — legal and voluntary — while more and more countries have realised that we should not for all eternity keep two tracks.”
“Of course, we should not all commit the same but we have to find a formula that recognise the reality of 21st century. The second point is about the timeline — when should the legal agreement enter into force,” she said.
Minister of Environment and Forests Jayanthi Natarajan, leader of the Indian delegation, refuted the EU's allegation, saying she was here with an open mind as long as issues raised by the country were addressed.
“I had a meeting with the BASIC this morning and our stand has been the same. I have come here with an open mind but we want to know the content of the legally binding [agreement]. We want to know if they are going to give us a ratifiable Kyoto in return,” she told IANS.
She said India's demands had been “extremely reasonable” and “we want to know” how common but differentiated responsibility, equity, intellectual property rights and trade measures would figure in the treaty. — IANS