The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Saturday asked the government to clarify its stand on climate change before the Indian delegation left for Copenhagen.

In a statement issued here, the CPI(M) accused Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh of “publicly and repeatedly” modifying accepted policy position.

It said the Minister also made derisive remarks about the G77 leader, Sudan, and stated soon after joining China, Brazil and South Africa that he was not sure about China and Brazil’s support. The statement further said that Mr. Ramesh had argued in favour of distancing from the G77 states.

At the end of a debate in the Lok Sabha, Mr. Ramesh was dismissive of India’s stand on the per capita emissions as the basis for equitable burden sharing at Copenhagen.

Calling India’s low per capita emissions an “accident of history,” he added that the country’s biggest failure was its inability to control population growth, the CPI (M) said. These remarks went against the country’s stated positions both on climate policy and population policy, the statement said.

The party further said it was well-known fact that Mr. Ramesh had modified Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s stated position on climate policy that the country’s per capita emissions “would not exceed” that of the developed countries, by replacing the words “will stay below.”

Asked in Parliament why the modifications had been introduced, Mr. Ramesh dismissed it saying, “Two phrases that mean the same thing.”

Keywords: Jairam RameshCPI(M)G77BrazilChina

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