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Updated: January 24, 2010 15:50 IST

PM rejects UN deadline for submitting emission targets

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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
The Hindu
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has rejected the UN deadline of January 31 for submission of emission targets and climate actions under the Copenhagen Accord.

The Prime Minister is particularly unhappy over the repeated persistence from Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen and United Secretary General Ban-Ki-Moon to accede to the January 31 deadline for target submission, sources in the PMO said.

Mr. Singh has also apparently questioned the legal status of the various provisions included in the Accord which is silent on the Kyoto Protocol based on equity burden sharing among the member nations.

“Before going ahead with targets submission, the Prime Minister wants to be clarified on certain issues which are silent in the Ban’s letter,” the sources added.

In the absence of the consensus at the Denmark capital last December, the UN members just took note of the Copenhagen Accord and agreed to submit their voluntarily emission cuts as well as climate action plans.

As per the Accord, Appendix 1 is intended for “economy-wide emissions targets” for 2020 for Annex-I (rich countries) while Appendix 2 is for “mitigation actions” by non-Annex I (developing) countries. These commitments can become operational immediately.

However, what has irked the Prime Minister is a separate joint letter sent by Mr. Rasmussen and Mr. Ban to all heads of state and governments, urging them to submit their commitments by January 31.

Mr. Singh has also expressed inability to detail the country’s action plan and targets in such a short period, the sources said.

Only four countries - Australia, Canada, Papua New Guinea and the Maldives - have signed the Copenhagen Accord so far, while Cuba has rejected it.

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