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Updated: May 10, 2010 15:36 IST

India “saved” China from isolation at Copenhagen: Jairam

Ananth Krishnan
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Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh. File Photo
PTI Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh. File Photo

China would have been left completely isolated at last December's climate summit in Copenhagen, if it had not been for India's backing, Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh has said.

Recognition from China's “top leadership” that Indian support was “absolutely essential” for China at the talks, following an “ambush” by the West, had now even led to an improvement in bilateral relations after a year of hostilities, Mr. Ramesh told journalists on Sunday.

“We were critical to China at Copenhagen. The Chinese know, in their heart of hearts, that we saved them from isolation,” he said. “It is not an exaggeration to say that the top Chinese leadership acknowledges the Copenhagen spirit, and the cooperation between India and China, as a very positive outcome.”

China, as the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases, came under pressure from the West at the talks to do more to tackle the growth of its emissions. China accounts for 23 per cent of global emission. India accounts for less than 5 per cent. China and India closely co-ordinated their negotiating positions at the talks, as part of the four-member BASIC group of developing countries, along with Brazil and South Africa.

Shedding new light on the compromise Copenhagen accord that was reached after frantic, last-minute negotiations, Mr. Ramesh said the agreement was essentially a deal struck by the BASIC group — mainly, China and India — with U.S. President Barack Obama, largely by-passing the EU.

“Had that agreement with President Obama not been signed, Mr. Obama would have got back to America and painted China as the villain of the piece,” he said.

Mr. Ramesh also hit out at criticism from the EU that China and India “had wrecked” the possibilities of a climate deal. Last week, Der Spiegel, a German magazine, published secret transcripts of a meeting between heads of state at Copenhagen, suggesting they revealed complicity between China and India to block a substantive deal.

The magazine accused India of a last-minute U-turn in its negotiating position to oppose any offer of concrete emission cuts by western countries, as well as a proposal to reduce global emissions by 50 per cent by 2050. The article suggested that India's alleged change in stance was prompted by China.

Mr. Ramesh said the article “was not accurate.” “India and China argued that if you were to impose this constraint [of capping global emissions] without working out a formula to ensure equity in burden-sharing, the development space for countries like India and China would get circumscribed,” he said. “That is why we argued for setting a global goal of limiting temperature increase [instead].”

The chances of a deal being struck this year, at the climate summit in Cancun, Mexico, were “very, very low” because of the persisting differences between the west and the developing countries. “We may have a political statement in Cancun,” he said. “We may have a little more detailing of the Copenhagen accord. But are we going to get an international agreement? The answer is clearly no.”

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Well, China gets what it wants from India by hook or by crook. In return, India gets nothing despite peaceful and deplomatic approach for amicable and mutually acceptable solutions to problems purging India. China is occupying a seat in the UN security council because of India,s support. The first Primeminister of India sacrificed the seat, saying that China needs it more than India.

To-day, gracious India remains betrayed by China without even an iota of goodwill towards India.

from:  Robert Mathew
Posted on: May 10, 2010 at 10:23 IST

On Monday December 14, 2009 when negotiations at Copenhagen were briefly stalled over the opposition of developed countries to discuss their previous commitments under Kyoto Protocol, China stepped up pressure against the US and other Western powers. China’s Ambassador to India Zhang Yan calling for greater unity among developing countries amid what he termed as efforts to “split” this group.
Zhang reeled out statistics to make the point that the West was responsible for 72 per cent of the total CO2 emissions from 1850 to 2005 and then 50 per cent of the emissions in 2006. He remarked that an empty talk about international cooperation or only talking about so-called shared responsibility, without taking up their historical responsibility can hardly convince the international community. He wanted developed nations to remember that they have increased emissions when they were needed to collectively reduce emissions by 5.2 per cent on 1990 levels according to the Kyoto Protocol!India maintained tough in own stand and joined with China while walking out of negotiations, apparently unhappy when developed nations go-off on their commitments under the Kyoto protocol to undertake emission cuts.
The Chinese Ambassador Zhang took exception to remarks from US questioning the rationale for offering financial support to growing economies like China for adapting to climate change. He had pointed out that providing financial support is their legal obligation (under Kyoto Protocol)and If they change their position or retreat from it, then it only shows that US and other Western countries don’t have the sincerity to fulfill their commitments. How the funds will be used is a matter to be worked out after the conference. Taking the argument further, he felt such statements could only be interpreted as a ploy to divide the developing countries.

India had initiated for merging the Basic Draft ( of India, China, Brazil and S.Africa) with that of the draft of African nations of G-77 and there is an Afro-Basic draft getting declared. Basically, developing countries including small island countries have the same objective; it was just the matter of approach. India thought it fit in not compromising on’ teen murti’ doctrine –NO LEGALLY BINDING EMISSION CUTS, NO PEAKING YEAR,NO INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF DOMESTIC FUNDED MITIGATIONS.It was fantastic when Jairam Ramesh rightly and boldly toughened Indian stand then, that the outcome of the summit have to be within the framework of UNFCC adhering to the Kyoto Protocol abiding by the Bali Action Plan.

The main imperfection in the legally non-binding Accord arrived at the hurriedly concluded Climate Summit was nothing other than one of the missed-out critical points which should have incorporated as a thrust in case a legally binding would have become a reality; it is that the Obama and leaders of Basic Bloc had to ignore in the Accord to commit to a deadline of 2010 for a legally binding global treaty. Further in the last phase of the summit, E.U not only perplexed themselves and made others like African-Island nations to get confused and pre-determined that there will be a just a blemished declaration through the camp of Basic Bloc at the summit.

The global community should not give much credence to the British Environment Minister Ed Milibands’ accusation that China had ‘hijacked’ efforts to agree to significant reductions in global emissions, which tempted Beijing to counter-accuse that U.K and other E.U nations plotted to divide the G77 and basic Bloc at Copenhagen. Fantastic… Obama maintained cool… did not accuse any nation or group!

It is to be noted that the climate summit used the phrase that it had "taken note" of the Accord, mainly to satisfy and prompt the reluctant EU members to gesture their acceptance.

US had insisted on a transparency clause before agreeing to release funds to India’s neighbours like Bangladesh and Maldives.Transparency clause is directed at China which emits 23 per cent of the world’s total greenhouse gases. US wanted words like ‘scrutiny’, ‘review’ and ‘verification’, which was resisted by the BASIC group. BASIC’s suggestion to use ‘dialogue’ or ‘discussion’ was not acceptable to the U.S. Both sides finally agreed on the clause on “international consultation and analysis.”

Copenhagen summit was not a destination but the beginning of a long process, still many analysts apprehend that the summit may lead to a new climate order deviating from the path charted by the Kyoto Protocol.

Let EU relinquish selfish interests and think beyond Europe, gracefully co-operate with U.S and BASIC BLOC for taking the mantle at the ensuing summit to be held at Cancun in Mexico by Dec 2010.

from:  Mr.Madan Menon Thottasseri
Posted on: May 10, 2010 at 08:43 IST

Well i think this is a shame that people of this nature do not reconise the output of global warming.

from:  Sam hogan
Posted on: May 10, 2010 at 07:48 IST

His comments beg the all important question. WHY?

from:  Abhijith
Posted on: May 10, 2010 at 02:36 IST
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