'US lowered the bar for climate talks’ | india | Hindustan Times
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'US lowered the bar for climate talks’

india Updated: Dec 16, 2009 03:20 IST
Varghese K George
Varghese K George
Hindustan Times
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"The United States has lowered the bar for global climate change negotiations by refusing to take on internationally legally binding emission reduction obligations that are subject to international enforcement,” said Shyam Saran, special envoy of the Prime Minister on climate change.

Saran was responding to a question on the US demand that India should be ready to submit its own mitigation actions based on domestic resources to international verification, just as the US was prepared to do.

The US has rejected international enforcement of its commitments. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will leave on Thursday for the Copenhagen summit on climate change. Singh is likely to be among the few world leaders to make an intervention at the opening plenary of the summit on December 18.

Singh’s presence at Copenhagen for the summit session of the global climate conference, despite the current pessimism about the outcome, demonstrates India's continuing commitment towards a substantive and comprehensive outcome, and the seriousness with which India handles the issue, said Saran.

India was willing to pledge domestically legislated emission reduction targets, which, however, would not be subject to international compliance.

Developed countries, which have signed the Kyoto Protocol (KP) — agreed upon at a meeting in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997 —are obliged to take on internationally binding targets subject to a strict compliance procedure. The US has refused to sign.

“The issue is not whether India is ready to subject its mitigation actions to international verification, but whether the US, like other developed countries, is willing to take on obligations similar to Kyoto parties,” Saran said.

As Copenhagen negotiations are being concluded, India is convinced that the philosophy of “common but differentiated responsibilities” among nations to mitigate climate change - also agreed upon at Kyoto - has been all but buried. “The developed world wants reciprocity as the basis of negotiations — the way it’s done at trade talks,”a highly placed source told HT.