Serious differences have emerged between India and Australia over the direction of talks at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference with New Delhi making a strong pitch for extending the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012 and Canberra wanting obligations on emerging economies as well.
Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has reportedly walked out of a meeting with his Australian counterpart Penny Wong accusing that Australia sticks to the "single track" which requires all parties, including developing economies like India, to produce a legally binding treaty before the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol ends in 2012.
Though India has voluntarily pledged to cut its emission intensity by 20-25 per cent by 2020 on a baseline of 2005 it has refused to sign any legally binding commitment.
"Australia is sort of the ayatollah of the single track. But Penny Wong remains a good friend of mine, a very valued colleague," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted him as saying.
The Australian newspaper also quoted Wong as saying that he did not know why Ramesh left mid-way through the meeting, saying "You will have to ask him."
However, Ramesh later clarified that he had not "pulled out" but said he was unfortunately "too busy" as the meeting was three hours long.