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Late night huddle at Durban fails to resolve differences

Talks stuck on emission cuts for emerging countries, efforts on to seal deal. Chetan Chauhan reports.

business Updated: Dec 09, 2011 22:34 IST
Chetan Chauhan

Countries were in a huddle till late in the night over the timeframe and nature of the legally binding treaty, in which India and China, were being branded as deal breakers.

Negotiators claim that the talks would continue till Saturday evening when a general assembly meeting could be called. "It is going down to wire. But, we are optimistic of a deal," a climate negotiator.

The Durban Climate Summit is working on a declaration of the future course of actions with sometimes up to 2020. But, the biggest question stalling the talks is whether emerging countries would have to take binding carbon emission cuts by 2020 or later.

European Union, island and least developed nations wants to operationalise a legal treaty with binding emission cuts latest by 2020.

China has opposed any such move saying that it will announce its willingness to accept emission cuts only 2020 and want firm commitment of rich nations on long term finance for Green Climate Fund and other financial instruments.

India is willing to accept a legally binding treaty minus emission cuts but before that wants to know the nature of binding element in the treaty. India is also cautious as any agreement to legally binding can create political storm back home for the minister Jayanthi Natarajan and is toying the Chinese line.

"Climate Action Network South Asia urges parties to ensure that outcome from Durban saves the climate and does not get dragged down by national interests," said Sanjay Vashist of CANSA, while urging countries not to put conditionalities on the future of millions of vulnerable peoples.

The Durban declaration will mention equity but India's other two issues of concern -- unilateral trade measures in guise of climate change and intellectual rights related to clean technology transfer --- may fall off the table.

The declaration will also include Green Climate Fund (GCF) with some money as Maiti Nkoana -Mashabane said, "we are looking at long term finance for GCF." Operationalisation o the Adaption framework and technology mission by 2012 could also be there.

There could be extension of discussion on second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol for next year's climate conference in Qatar. Climate negotiators, however, say the declaration would say negotiations on reduced emissions from deforestration and degradation of forests, called REDD.