Reiterating India’s position and warding off renewed pressure on the Copenhagen accord, the Prime Minister said on Friday the deal was a “catalogue of voluntary commitments and not a negotiated set of legal obligations”.
US President Barack Obama has sought India’s support in turning the Copenhagen Accord into a binding treaty. Yvo De Boer, UN’s top climate-change official, has set February 11 deadline for associating with the accord — an agreement between 26 countries, including the Basic countries.
The Basic countries (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) had on January 31 submitted “voluntary domestic mitigation actions” without referring to the accord, the trigger for Obama and Boer’s letters.
The US wants the accord to be the basis of a future treaty, but developing nations, including India and China, are against it. The PM is believed to have conveyed to them that India and other Basic members viewed the accord as non-binding.
“The Copenhagen accord, which we fully support and will take forward, is a catalogue of voluntary commitments and not a negotiated set of legal commitments,” Singh said at the inauguration of the 10th Sustainable Development Summit on Friday.
The purpose of the accord was to contribute to the negotiations on the Kyoto Protocol and long-term cooperation, he said. Country heads of Finland, Norway, Bhutan and Greece, and environment ministers of more than 30 countries are attending the three-day meet.
Sharing disappointment of world leaders such as French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel with the limited success at Copenhagen, the PM said, “A modest accord that is fully implemented may be better than an ambitious one that seriously falls short of its targets.” It was a reference to the emission targets set in Kyoto Protocol, which most of the rich countries have failed to meet.
Singh also said Basic countries, together with G-77, will aim at “comprehensive, balanced and equitable” outcome at Mexico summit in December based on “common but differentiated responsibility”.