With climate change talks set to enter the crucial second stage here, India on Sunday rejected points in the draft treaty that wants all countries to cut emissions, agree to a peaking year and subject their mitigation actions to international scrutiny.

With the official draft treaty circulated on Friday creating clear divisions among 194 countries, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said he would use the draft as a “starting point for further negotiations”.

However, he made it clear that India would not compromise on its three key principles — no legally binding emission cuts, no peaking year and no international review of domestic-funded mitigation actions.

“India will not compromise on its ‘teen-murti’,” he said adding that the outcome of the talks must be within the U.N. Framework on Climate Change, stick to the Kyoto Protocol and abide by the Bali Action Plan.

“We must get an agreement in 2010,” Mr. Ramesh said and hinted at a political statement at the end of the 12-day talks, which will be attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

“I have clearly and categorically stated on behalf of the government of India that our Prime Minister is not coming here to negotiate the text,” Mr. Ramesh said.

Minister get together

Meanwhile, Environment Ministers haggled behind closed doors in their first major get-together of the summit, as they were warned of the catastrophic consequences of failure to reach a deal.

The meeting is tasked with turning the problem-plagued blueprint into a landmark deal that can be endorsed on Friday by about 120 world leaders.

‘Cautiously optimistic’

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that he was “cautiously optimistic” on the outcome as he flew into Copenhagen ahead of a raft of world leaders for the final days of the conference.

“We have to wait until the end of the conference to see how serious a message (the conference) is going to send,” he said.