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Updated: December 24, 2009 00:58 IST

Outcome good, but not adequate: Pachauri

Special Correspondent
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Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Rajendra Pachauri speaks at a press conference in New Delhi on Wednesday.
AP Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Rajendra Pachauri speaks at a press conference in New Delhi on Wednesday.

The outcome of the Conference of Parties at Copenhagen is “good” but not “adequate,” R.K. Pachauri, chairperson of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, said on Wednesday.

Talking to reporters here, he said the Copenhagen Accord provided a framework for working out a binding agreement, incorporating the details of the specific commitments by all countries, especially the developed nations. But it did not address the extent to which the developed nations would cut emission.

The Accord and its drafting brought into existence an entity, consisting of the large emerging economies, labelled BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China). “It would be necessary for this group, in coordination with the U.S., not only to ensure universal acceptance of the Copenhagen Accord but also to carry forward the momentum that has been created for reaching a full-fledged binding agreement in Mexico,” he said.

A big challenge

However, a bigger challenge for the BASIC grouping was to take along the least developed countries, the small island states and the low-lying coastal countries, so that they did not feel isolated, Mr. Pachauri said.

A high-level panel would be established under the Conference of Parties to study the potential source of revenue, including the alternative sources of finance, for meeting the goal, Mr. Pachauri said. It was important for the BASIC grouping to ensure that such a group had leadership and participation from the developing countries.

He said the provisions of the Kyoto Protocol were sacrosanct for countries like India, and even if the new agreement went by another name, the essential features of the Kyoto Protocol must be preserved.

The Indian authorities must show concern for protecting the ecosystems of this planet and should not allow their words and actions to be interpreted as being only in India’s national interest, he said.

Suggesting that the “peaking” year for all countries be pegged at 2015, Mr. Pachauri said that if an agreement was not reached by December 2010, the cost and human impact of climate change would be serious.

Rejecting the contention that India agreeing to “international consultation and analysis” in the Copenhagen Accord challenged its sovereignty, Mr. Pachauri said: “I don’t think the provisions of international consultations and analysis gives anybody the right to challenge anybody. It does not carry any weight.” “The term is so innocuous that it can’t be interpreted as a loss of sovereignty. I think our interest has not been touched in any way. Moreover, the BASIC countries will stick together and won’t let anyone [including the U.S.] push them over this provision.”

White House Adviser David Axelrod had said: “Following the Accord, we will be able to review what India and China are doing on mitigation commitments. We are going to be able to challenge them if they do not meet those goals.”

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