Poland, the hosts for the U.N. Climate talks this year, and the EU came in for some harsh opposition from many developing countries, including India, for promoting the idea that the talks must deliver a new carbon market mechanism even before countries make their emission reduction targets.
Carbon markets help developed countries take credit for reduction of emissions carried out by poor countries by paying for the actions. The costs of paying the developing countries works out much lower for the rich nations in comparison with undertaking such actions in their highly developed economies.
The proposal that the Warsaw talks conclude the basic framework for a new ‘market-based mechanism’, which had the backing of Poland, the host country holding the presidency and leading the talks, found a strong reaction from a host of developing countries including India.
An Indian negotiator speaking with The Hindu said, “This is putting the cart before the horse. We don’t know what kind of emission reduction targets the developed countries will take and the current targets are much lower than those required we all know but here they are pushing for creating another loophole. This is not acceptable.”
The source said that the Polish presidency had been informed by the Like-Minded Developing Countries, of which India and China are key members, that they would not permit such a mechanism to be put in place before commitments of the developed countries are put forth and are sufficiently high to show their seriousness.
The lead negotiator for Bolivia Dr. Rene Orellana publicly criticised Poland for pushing business interests at the climate talks. Another source in the Indian delegation said that the Polish deputy environment minister visiting Delhi days before the Warsaw talks had also requested that India agree to the setting of new market mechanisms by the end of the two weeks of negotiations but was told that India would not agree to the move.
The non-negotiable lines drawn by the Union Cabinet last week also bar the Indian delegation from allowing the markets for carbon trade to come through before the developed countries have taken strong emission reduction targets.
Poland as hosts have come up for criticism from the environmental lobby in Europe as well for promoting interests of the coal industry — the main stay of its energy source — and opening the U.N. climate talks to greater influence from the industrial lobbies. India too had registered its protest against the involvement of businesses in consultations that have traditionally been held only between country representatives.