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Updated: December 6, 2009 21:20 IST

India keen to play deal-maker at Copenhagen

PTI
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A vehicle crosses a dry bed of the river Tawi in Jammu. The U.N. convenes a two-week 192-nation conference on Monday intended to fashion the outline of a treaty to control greenhouse gas emissions. The agreement, to be completed in six to 12 months, seeks to check the rise in global temperatures that scientists warn could lead to devastating results in rising sea levels, shrinking access to drinking water, shifting agriculture and spreading diseases.
AP A vehicle crosses a dry bed of the river Tawi in Jammu. The U.N. convenes a two-week 192-nation conference on Monday intended to fashion the outline of a treaty to control greenhouse gas emissions. The agreement, to be completed in six to 12 months, seeks to check the rise in global temperatures that scientists warn could lead to devastating results in rising sea levels, shrinking access to drinking water, shifting agriculture and spreading diseases.

India, in association with Brazil, South Africa and China (BASIC), is expected to present a draft proposal demanding adherence to the principles of equity as per Kyoto Protocol.

Pledging to reduce its emissions intensity by 20-25 per cent as done by China, India led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is ready to play a leadership role at the global climate summit at Copenhagen.

Mr. Singh will join U.S. President Barack Obama and over 100 world leaders at the summit with the likelihood increasing of a consensus on a new global deal to replace the Kyoto Protocol which expires in 2012.

“We want to be seen as a deal-maker and not a deal-breaker. We have already set our four non-negotiable positions including no legally binding emission cuts and no peaking year for the emissions as demanded by certain quarters,” Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh said.

He categorically stated that India’s negotiation position remains intact and there were no rifts between the government and the negotiators, Chandrasekhar Dasgupta and Pradipto Gosh, who had initially decided to opt out of the team going to Copenhagen.

Mr. Ramesh said he had “necessary and productive” discussions with them and they will be the part of the delegation to attend the 12-day summit at Denmark.

But it would be tough to negotiate with the rich nations, who are planning to table a draft which seeks peaking years for all the emerging economies and thus blurring the difference between the industrialised and countries like India and China.

The move is expected to be strongly opposed by India which has, in association with other key emerging countries like Brazil, South Africa, China (BASIC), drafted a proposal to be part of the negotiations, demanding adherence to the principles of equity as per Kyoto Protocol.

Mr. Ramesh while asserting that the Danish draft was totally unacceptable and would lead to stalemate, has nevertheless said that they were going to Copenhagen in a positive frame of mind, prepared to be flexible.

“We want a comprehensive and equitable agreement. We are realistic enough to know such an agreement may not materialise, but we have worked with like-minded countries, with China, and with others, to ensure there is a comprehensive and equitable arrangement,” Mr. Ramesh said.

Ahead of the crucial negotiations, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang, in a statement, made clear that any attempt to go against the principles of “common but differentiated responsibilities” as enshrined in Kyoto Protocol will be no cause for optimism for the deal.

The bloc of the developing countries are seeking for binding emissions cut commitments from industralised nations, technology transfer and capacity-building assistance to developing nations and no legal binding emissions cuts.

Mr. Qin added, “We demand that the developed countries fulfil their promises with actions. The Copenhagen conference lies in whether we can adhere to the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol seeking “Common but differentiated responsibilities.”

China, which is the second largest polluter has also announced plans for a 20 to 25 per cent carbon emission cut by 2020.

Brazil proposes for voluntary reductions of 38-42 per cent by 2020, asking the developed nations to contribute funds and share green technology if they want developing and poor nations to take adequate steps to protect the climate.

Mr. Ramesh said the carbon intensity reduction target was voluntary and not binding.

“We have to be the part of the solution and not a deal-breaker. Of course we would ensure that our national interest are kept intact, which revolves round the principles of not taking legal emission cuts,” Mr. Ramesh added.

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