India with its partners in Basic countries (China, Brazil and South Africa) will push for equity as a fundamental to a possible climate agreement in South Africa this December.
The Basic countries have prepared a joint draft on how equity can be integrated into final climate agreements and is likely to be introduced as part of the negotiations at the climate talks in Panama City in August.
In the highly polarised climate talks, the draft is aimed at countering the demand of the richer nations for emissions cuts by the emerging economies like India and China. "The draft will be finalised before the end of this month," a senior environment ministry official said.
The new equity draft will seek to refuse emission cuts till every citizen in the emerging economies has access to energy and right to eradicate poverty. In addition, the Basic countries will ask for access to clean technologies from rich countries without the intellectual property rights regime through its equity concept.
The Basic countries at its recent meeting in South Africa had observed that equity was not adequately addressed in the Cancun climate agreements and there was a need to revitalise the issue before the Durban talks. The paper will also highlight this concern of Basic countries and will provide a formula for integrating equity into formal climate negotiations.
Moving in this direction, India wants a conference on equity and equitable access in Potsdam, Germany in October this year. Climate negotiators and academics from Basic countries will make presentations to ministers and lead negotiators from the richer countries.
"My idea is that we invite about 30-35 participants from different countries - some could be ministers, some could be negotiators and some could be academic experts who are part of their country's negotiating team," Environment minister Jairam Ramesh said in a letter to German Environment minister Norbert Rottgen earlier this week.
Ramesh was in Germany recently to participate in a ministerial conference on expected climate agreement at Durban called by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
India had been in the forefront of the campaign to introduce equity concept in the climate negotiations since late 2010 but for the first time the Basic countries have decided to come out with a negotiating text on the subject.