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India talks tough before climate meet in Warsaw

india Updated: Nov 07, 2013 21:52 IST
Chetan Chauhan
Chetan Chauhan
Hindustan Times
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Despite recent reports attributing half of global carbon emissions from developing countries, India will not agree to take any emissions cut under the new climate treaty to come into force from 2020 and wants rich countries to enhance its commitment to fight climate change.

In a submission to United Nations a few days before the annual climate talks at Warsaw in Poland, India has made it clear that they were opposed to the developing countries having to cut emissions.

“The actions and commitments of parties in the post 2020 period must be differentiated on the basis of equity in terms of historical responsibilities and the fundamental imperatives of social and economic development and poverty eradication,” India said.

India also presented an interpretation different from what the developed world has been claiming on the term “applicable to all parties” in the Durban Platform (agreement) for new climate treaty by 2020.

Officials said that the term does not signal dilution of differentiation or move away from the balance of responsibilities established under the UN convention on climate change. They added that universality of application does not translate into uniformity of application. In simpler terms, it means that India is not obliged to take emission cuts as prescribed for the developed world under existing legal instrument the Kyoto Protocol.

Negating the bid of United States to use ad-hoc working group on Durban Platform to push India and China to take emission cuts, India has made it clear that the work group has not been constituted to “re-invent the wheel” but to build on the “post outcomes” and enhance implementation of the convention.

As a first step in this direction, India has suggested that the working group should take up review of adequacy of the commitments made by the developed world and ensure that they cut emissions to keep the global temperature rise below two degree Celsius by turn of the century.

But, India has received some setback to its tough stand as South Africa, its key climate ally in the Basic group of countries, wants the new treaty to be based on commitment, target and action for all countries, irrespective of whether they are rich or are developing.

South Africa made its stand clear at a recent meeting of Basic (Brazil, South Africa, China and India) countries which was in variance with the stated policy of the group, which was formed by former environment minister Jairam Ramesh before the Copenhagen climate conference. The Basic group has kept all options open on the legal nature of the new protocol to be agreed by 2015 and the implemented from 2020.

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