Cracks have developed among India and three other developing countries on accepting legally binding emission cuts at the climate change summit here, with Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh saying there is concerted pressure on the country and China to accept such cuts.
“There are differences within BASIC [Brazil, South Africa, India and China]. India and China are united on this issue. Brazil and South Africa are united,” Mr. Ramesh said.
“This pressure is coming from developed countries through the AOSIS [Alliance of Small Islands States], BASIC and LDCs [Least Developed Countries].”
“At this stage India's strategy is to keep the door open, the door was being closed on us,” he said.
Rejecting the legally-binding emission cuts, Mr. Ramesh said India, China and the United States were not in favour of it, though such a move is supported by other developed countries, and several nations within the G77.
“There is a concerted move by a group of developed countries, using developing countries to put pressure on India and China and within BASIC, since South Africa and Brazil are supportive of a legally binding agreement,” Mr. Ramesh said.
India was not ready to show flexibility at this stage on the issue of binding emission cuts, and would insist on a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, set to expire in 2012, he said.
“There can be no flexibility on these,” he added.
As per the Kyoto Protocol, rich nations are supposed to take legally-binding emission cuts, while no such provision exists for developing countries.
India, along with most other developing countries, has been maintaining that taking up binding emissions cuts will hamper its growth, including poverty alleviation efforts.
Referring to the “flexible” stance taken by India in the past one year since the Copenhagen meet, Mr. Ramesh said India's position on climate change had been evolving, and needed to evolve further.
Earlier in the day cracks appeared between India, China and developing nations even among BASIC countries.