Women power gets the Durban deal | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Women power gets the Durban deal

delhi Updated: Dec 12, 2011 22:13 IST
Chetan Chauhan

It was women power at work at Durban climate summit to strike a deal to save the planet from dangerous carbon emissions.

European Union climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard and Indian environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan negotiated hard presided over by another tough woman – president of the conference and South African foreign minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

"Probably, women are more focused and determined than men," was a remark of an observer at the Durban climate negotiations.

Both Natarajan, 57, one of youngest ministers to join Union Cabinet in 1997 and Hedegaard, 51, youngest person to be elected to Danish Parliament, were played an important role in striking a deal.

Hedegaard stuck her ground on Europe’s road map for more than 36 hours and Natarajan refused to give in despite, China, a key partner, agreeing to emission cuts. Hedegaard told Natarajan that India has got a second commitment period for existing climate Kyoto Protocol and equity is back on the negotiating table and she "reluctantly" agreed to show that India came with a flexible approach.

"We've had very intense discussions. We were not happy with reopening the text but in the spirit of flexibility and accommodation shown by all, we have shown our flexibility... we agree to adopt it," Natarajan said.

Mashabane, though faced criticism for the way negotiations were held, kept her cool to get a deal to get Durban a place in climate change history. Like her, presidents of climate summit in Cancun in 2010 and in Copenhagen in 2009 were also women.