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Emerging nations meet in India over climate change

Environment ministers from Brazil, South Africa, India and China met in New Delhi on Sunday to agree a common position for future talks after the Copenhagen climate change summit, officials said.

delhi Updated: Jan 24, 2010 14:43 IST

Environment ministers from Brazil, South Africa, India and China met in New Delhi on Sunday to agree a common position for future talks after the Copenhagen climate change summit, officials said.

The four emerging economies -- a key bloc within troubled negotiations on how to tackle global warming -- lobbied successfully at the Copenhagen meeting in December against binding emissions caps.

"The nations have come together to chalk out their post-Copenhagen strategy and organise an action plan," an Indian environment ministry spokesman told AFP.

India's environment minister Jairam Ramesh returned from December's summit praising how the group -- known by the acronym BASIC -- had worked together in the face of fierce pressure from developed countries.

The widely criticised Copenhagen Accord was a non-binding document crafted by a small group of countries on the final day of the talks as the meeting faced collapse.

As recriminations continue over the summit, the United Nations' climate change forum is due to resume shortly with a ministerial-level meeting planned in Mexico at the end of the year.

The BASIC talks in Delhi came ahead of a January 31 deadline for countries to say if they intended to be "associated" with the Copenhagen Accord or what sort of measures they envisaged taking.

Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, the head of the UN's climate science panel R.K. Pachauri expressed hope that the BASIC nations would offer some chance of a binding pact in the near future.

The Copenhagen Accord set a broad goal of limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) but did not specify the staging points for achieving this goal or a year by which greenhouse gas emissions should peak.

Instead, countries are being urged to identify what actions they intend to take, either as binding curbs on emissions or voluntary action. Twenty-eight billion dollars in aid have been pledged by rich countries for 2010-2012.

Many emerging nations say they will not allow emissions targets to be imposed at the cost of economic development.