The union cabinet on Thursday approved India's tough stance on climate change issues despite rural development minister Jairam Ramesh cautioning against the country being seen as a "deal breaker" at the Durban climate talks.
Environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan had proposed at the cabinet headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that India should not give in to the pressure of the developed world and should say no to a binding climate treaty.
Natarajan, while opting for a hardline approach, had also proposed that India should push for second committment period for existing climate treaty-Kyoto Protocol and ensure that new transparency regime on climate mitigation action was not intrusive to the country's domestic policy.
According to sources, Ramesh, who was head of India's climate negotiating team in 2010, reportedly expressed fear that India's tough stance can isolate it at the Durban talks. He was also of the view that India should keep its options flexible to avoid being described as a deal breaker.
Another functionary, who opposed Natarajan's proposal, was planning commission deputy chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia. He suggested that India should not toe the line of rich countries, which have historical responsibility to reduce carbon emissions, and not the developing countries.
They were also of the view that China has left its options wide open whereas India was perceived to have shut its negotiating window.
But senior ministers like Pranab Mukherjee, Kapil Sibal and Kamal Nath supported Natarajan's proposal and wanted Natarajan not to compromise with India's stated position at Durban. India has been advocating equity to be the basis for any future treaty.