Climate change: India ready to play hard ball | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Climate change: India ready to play hard ball

The next round of climate talks in December is likely to be a tough one — pitting developing countries against the developed world. Pushing for a level playing field, India has asked the UN to address the developing nations’ concerns when climate talks are held. Chetan Chauhan reports.

delhi Updated: Oct 09, 2011 02:36 IST
Chetan Chauhan

The next round of climate talks in December is likely to be a tough one — pitting developing countries against the developed world.

Pushing for a level playing field, India has asked the United Nations to address the developing nations’ concerns when climate talks are held in Durban, South Africa.

After showing flexibility at the Cancun talks, India is pushing for an Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) regime for developing countries to have access to costly clean western technologies. The Cancun agreements were silent on IPR issue.

The December 2010 talks also mentioned “equity” without defining it. India has defined it as a right to have equal access to global atmospheric space - something opposed by the developed countries.

A lot of issues absolutely important to India were left out at Cancun, said Chandra Bhushan, executive director of NGO Centre for Science and Environment. “It is important that India brings equity and technology issues to the negotiating table which will allow it to move faster towards low carbon growth,” he said.

In an eight-page proposal submitted to the UN's convention on climate change - the world body's decision-making arm on climate talks — at Panama City, India has sought a “facilitative IPR regime”, linked equity with access to sustainable development and called for a bar on imposing “unfair trade practices in the name of climate protection”. Equity should be the basis of climate deals.

Cancun agreements didn’t address the concerns of developing countries and their resolution would be key to “unlocking agreements” in other areas, India has said. The Durban meet should give a timeframe for resolving the issues.

The European Union’s and other developed countries’ move to impose a carbon tax (euro 2.5 per passenger) on flights departing from European airports will be contested at Durban.

The conference should prohibit rich countries from taking unilateral measures in the name of climate protection, India has said, seeking “unambiguous and firm commitment” from the developed world on the matter. “Such unfair measures can lead to fragmented... and sub-optimal climate policy,” it said.