In the run-up to the U.N. climate change summit to be held at Durban this December, India is once again emphasising the importance of the Kyoto Protocol.

The future of the protocol, which has clear emission reduction targets for developed countries, is uncertain. Canada, Japan and Russia have refused to commit to the protocol after 2012. However, India is still insisting that the global community must make equal progress on negotiations to extend the Kyoto Protocol (KP), in order to keep pace with the other track of negotiations on Long-Term Cooperative Action (LCA) which could include emission reduction commitments by the U.S. and large developing nations such as India and China as well.

In a meeting with the U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern on Tuesday, Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan “brought out the Indian perspective about the balanced outcome on both the LCA and KP tracks,” according to a Ministry statement. Mr. Stern shared his views on what legal form the LCA process should result in — while some nations want a legally-binding treaty which would force all signatories to fulfil their commitment targets, others do not.

Both sides agreed that the operationalisation of the decisions taken at the last major U.N. summit at Cancun in December 2010 should be the goal for the year-end meeting in Durban. Mr. Stern gave the U.S. perspective on the Green Climate Fund, the technology and finance mechanisms to help poorer countries in switching to clean energy and adapting to the impact of climate change, and the transparency arrangements to monitor the fulfilment of emission reduction commitments.