India on Saturday dismissed speculation that it has been in backroom negotiations with the U.S. to push back any action on a legally binding treaty on climate change.
“In this hall there are many rooms, but there are many more rumours,” Jayant Mauskar, India’s lead negotiator at the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) summit in Durban, said when questioned about reports of backdoor dealings with the U.S.
While the European Union wants a legally binding treaty to include all major economies to come into force by 2020, both India and the U.S. are resisting agreeing on a “legal form” for future steps.
On the European Union proposal of all major emitters taking on climate cuts before the developed world accepted a second round, Mr. Mauskar said that countries did not negotiate under “conditions” but were more open to “reassurances and mutual reassurances”.
“We have to mutually reassure each other and embark on such kind of decisions that will be acceptable to all of us,” Mr. Mauskar said.
India also said that the BASIC group (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) of emerging economies have common views on the issue.
The Indian delegation here noted this was the first time that the BASIC had given a statement as an alliance at the U.N., which was read out by China.
The first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol ends in 2012 but the arguments between the developed and developing nations persist.
The annual UN climate change talks will run till December 9.