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India not optimistic about climate deal in SA

business Updated: Dec 09, 2011 09:54 IST
Chetan Chauhan
Chetan Chauhan
Hindustan Times

India has lowered its expectations from climate conference in the port city of Durban with environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan saying that her initial "optimism" on a good outcome was "tampered" as convergence eluded developing and the develped world.

European Union is being seen as a biggest stumbling block with its insistence on the roadmap with definite timelines to achieve a legally binding treaty by 2012. Both, the Basic quartlet -- of India, China, Brazil and South Africa -- and United States have different contours on legally binding that the European proposal.

Even the small island nation, which were intially seen as backing the EU, had announced opposition to the EU roadmap saying that cannot agree for a legally binding treaty by 2020. "We believe time is now to act," said Lowe out. Kellman.

Natarajan, however, said India understands that Europe is facing economic crises but it should make its commitment to fulfill the promise of providing finance atleast for the Green Climate Fund (GCF). "It (GCF) should not remain an empty shell," she said, after talking with US and EU for over five hours since Wednesday night.

India has sought capitalisation of GCF with adequate money by the rich nations have offered US $ 100 million so far even though rich nations had promised US $ 30 bn by 2012.

"We strained every nerve. But, cannot see any convergence at end of the tunnel," she said, while being "cautiously optimistic" of an outcome with over a day of negotiations remaining.

Natarajan, who was suppose to return on Saturday morning, has postponed her flight by a day as the talks may get extended into early hours of Saturday morning to reach some face saving agreement.

The conference host South Africa has constituted groups under environment ministers from different countries, also called green room, to wriggle out the differences on issue of climate mitigation, review of the pledges, adaption and GCF.

The minister also said that there was traction between nations on equity in future climate change treaty but the developing countries want India to take up its other two agenda itmes -- transfer of technology with patents and unilateral trade barriers in guide of climate change --- at other internatonal forms.

"We have ensured that IPR and trade issues are locked in discussion," she said.