As prospects of a deal to combat global warming appeared bleak at marathon talks here, India today attacked host Denmark for keeping the political statement under wraps even as the US accused emerging nations of "backing away" from scrutiny of their climate actions.
Hours before the key segment of the 12-day climate talks, to be attended by over 100 world leaders including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President Barack Obama, opened here, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said "the continued reluctance of the Danes to reveal the political outcome is most baffling."
"We don't know the content of the text," he said. "All along the objective was to delay, delay and delay. What has happened in this COP (Conference of Parties) is unprecedented in global negotiations and it really is most disappointing for India and other countries. It is wrong, it is mischievous... We want to be constructive."
India said a handful of developed countries led by Britain were working out a surprise political text. No developing country was involved in drafting of the text and there is great concern that it will be sprung up as a surprise at the heads of state level talks where it is difficult to counter and oppose the contents, Ramesh said.
Seeking to give an impetus to the faltering talks, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the US will mobilise USD 100 billion yearly till 2020 if developing countries agree to "transparency" in national commitments as she accused the emerging economies of "backing away" from making their climate actions open to scrutiny.
Clinton attacked the emerging nations for reneging on promises to make national mitigation targets open to scrutiny. "There have been occasions in this past year when all the major economies have committed to transparency," she said.
"Now that we are trying to define what transparency means and how we would both implement it and observe it, there's a
backing away from transparency and that to us is something that undermines the whole effort we're engaged in," she said.
Noting that the "difficult" climate talks had reached a "critical juncture," she told a press conference that time was
running out to reach a "common ground" and take a "historic step that we can all be proud of".
Most of the officials are still pinning their hopes on a last minute breakthrough. The discussion on the two negotiated
texts resumed last evening after a 12-hour delay.
"I am still hopeful that during the course of the day we might be able to salvage something," Ramesh told reporters,
but also expressed concern that the developed countries would try to block and slow down the process as much as possible.
If the talks fail, it would be because the developed countries have not fulfilled their commitments under the Kyoto
Protocol, he said. "The developing countries led by India, China, Brazil, South Africa, the African group and the G-77
have worked very hard to bring the negotiations back on track.
The blame should not be laid on our doorstep." "The blame is fairly and squarely with the developed countries and I'm very happy that one of the positive outcomes of Copenhagen is the cementing of ties between India and China," he said.
Ramesh said the industrialised nations were focussed on killing the Kyoto Protocol and that it remained in the "intensive care unit".
"We are aware of the Western countries' propaganda to hold developing countries responsible (for faltering talks). We have gone out of our way to bring negotiations back on track," Ramesh said. "The way the negotiations are gone, the entire process is flawed and the trust deficit has accumulated. No sincere effort has been made by Denmark to reduce the deficit."
As divisions sharpened between developed and developing nations on the way forward, Clinton said there should be no doubt about the commitment of the US in realising a successful pact at Copenhagen and meeting this great global challenge
together. But, ultimately "this must be a common effort".
"I want to underscore what I said -- in the absence of an operational agreement that meets the requirements I outlined (about transparency), there will not be that kind of financial commitment from the United States," she said.
"Hundred billion dollars is a lot of money... 100 billion dollars is appropriate, usable and will be effective." India has maintained that it will not open its national emission reduction targets and "unsupported action" to international scrutiny, and it will only be assessed by its Parliament and informed to the UN.
The issue has been a bone of contention at climate talks with developed world insisting that domestic actions be made
"transparent" for a credible agreement while India, China and other developing nations have resisted this.