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'My mandate is to bring US on board in climate talks'

India's 54-year-old environment minister Jairam Ramesh has brought climate change issues at the forefront of policy dialogue in the country. Here are experts of an interview on what India is offering and he expects from Cancun climate summit. Chetan Chauhan reports.

delhi Updated: Dec 03, 2010 23:35 IST
Chetan Chauhan

India's 54-year-old environment minister Jairam Ramesh has brought climate change issues at the forefront of policy dialogue in the country. Here are experts of an interview on what India is offering and he expects from Cancun climate summit.

India has made two proposals to bring US on board on climate talks. What are the proposals?
I have submitted a proposal on MRV (measurement, review and verification)-LCA (international consultation and analysis) and on technology transfer. Both are linked to each other. There cannot be any progress on MRV issues provided we see quid pro quo from US on technology issues. Both are 10-point proposals. The MRV proposal suggested graded regime for verification of climate mitigation obligations.

In this, I have proposed that for all countries, which had emissions equivalent or more than 1% of the global average, who are also major emitters, the frequency of MRV should be once in three years and for others once in six years. In the technology proposal, we have suggested a regime for free transfer of technology from public regime.

Why you are stressing so much on the US?
My mandate is to play a bridge between US and others.

Who's given you the mandate?
This is not a question? You should know from where it has come? Obviously, from the government.

Even some Basic (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) countries have opposed your proposal on MRV?
The Chinese minister has issued a statement supporting my proposal on ICA. South Africa has some reservations but they have not rejected the proposal. Europeans have supported our proposal. The idea is not to feel defensive on the MRV-LCA issues. It was our prime minister who had contributed to the LCA proposal in the Copenhagen Accord. We should take the lead in bridging the differences. The US will not come on board without MRV-LCA issue sorted out.

For India, what is more important MRV or technology?
For us, the key is the technology agreement. I think there is a historic opportunity to clinch a deal on technology. Agreed by many countries but some are still opposed to it.

You have a different take on agreement on forestry?
We should look for plurilateral agreement instead of a bilateral one. We can have a plurilateral agreement on lines of WTO (World Trade Organisation).

What are your expectations from Cancun?
There can be an agreement on set of operational guidelines for MRV, technology transfer, for green fund and adaptation fund. Do expect a climate treaty.

The developing world is upset that the rich countries have not met their commitment made in Copenhagen.
The rich countries committed fast-track finance of $30 billion by 2012. Even today we don't know the exact pledges for the year 2010. The US is the most disappointing with less than $2 billion as against the promise of $30 billion. Going to Cancun, I am hobbled with the US offer and also with Japan saying they will not agree to second commitment period of Kyoto Protocol. It is not a good sign.