India, US likely to converge on sticking points at Paris summit

  • Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times, Paris
  • Updated: Dec 12, 2015 00:33 IST
US secretary of state John Kerry (R) walks with White House senior adviser Brian Deese (L) and US special envoy for climate change Todd Stern to attend a meeting during the COP21, United Nations conference on climate change in Le Bourget, north of Paris. (AP Photo)

The ice between the United States and India broke with the two biggest emitters on Thursday indicating that there was “convergence” on many issues, paving a way for final agreement in Paris.

Environment minister Prakash Javadekar and US secretary for state John Kerry met for the second time in two days and both termed the meeting “very constructive” unlike the first one where Javadekar said there was “no compromise”.

Stating the two countries were moving towards a fruitful Paris deal, Javadekar said they “were arriving at convergence and the work was in progress” after an hour-long meeting with Kerry. Similar enthusiasm was also echoed by Kerry.

Sources said there was some “forward” movement on transparency and differentiation in the Paris agreement, the two issues holding back talks.

India has agreed to move from annex-1 (44 countries) and non-annex (remaining) countries differentiation in UN convention agreed in 1992 to the concept of the developed and developing country as it will not have any adverse implications.

The US wanted the nuanced change in differentiation as it could bring countries like South Korea, Singapore and Saudi Arabia in the category of developed world, making them liable to pay for fighting climate change.

On the accountability mechanism, there was some headway as the US was inclined to maintain differentiation between the developed and the developing world in a universal review mechanism.

US did not reject the developing countries’ demand of review in all elements of the Paris agreement. The negotiators from the two countries were working on the language of the Paris agreement that could be acceptable to both the countries, sources said. Javadekar also said the two countries agreed to work on overall nature of the Paris agreement — whether fully binding or not.

India had earlier maintained that it can live with a non-binding agreement provided it was implemented through nationally determined rules. “We will bring out solutions and our negotiating teams are working on the (agreement) language,” the minister said, hoping for a “positive” outcome after he raised issues of concern on the draft.

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