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BASIC difference over Ramesh’s stance

world Updated: Dec 07, 2010 12:03 IST
Chetan Chauhan
Chetan Chauhan
Hindustan Times
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Differences cropped in the Basic group (India, China, South Africa and Brazil) over Environment minister Jairam Ramesh's proposal over verification regime regarding mitigation actions for the developing countries. Ramesh has also highlighted that Kyoto Protocol was make or break for Cancun climate summit.

Ramesh had proposed that all those countries, whose emissions are more than one per cent of the global average should come under the new verification regime. It is called Measurement, Review and Verification and International Consultation and Analysis (MRV-LCA) in the climate negotiations parlance.

China has not agreed with India's proposal and said only those countries which have given commitment of a voluntary mitigation action in the Copenhagen Accord should be part of it.

In a categorical assertion at the Basic countries meeting on Sunday morning, Chinese negotiators said that having a separate verification regime for all developing countries will not work.

"China said that only those countries which have submitted voluntary commitment under the Copenhagen Accord should be part of MRV-LCA regime," an official, who participated in the meeting, said.

There are about a dozen countries from the developing world including Basic group, South Korea, Mexico, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, who have committed voluntary mitigation actions in the Copenhagen Accord agreed earlier this year. Government sources said the Chinese were furious over the proposal saying that other nations will have a right to seek queries on MRV-LCA reports to be submitted to the United Natons Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Agreeing that China had a different perception on his proposal, Ramesh said they (Chinese) agreed with some elements of the proposal, namely the content of the LCA reports should be domestic mitigation action and its frequency should be at par with MRV. The MRV regime is for the developed countries, called annex-I in negotiating language and LCA for remaining countries, called annex-II.

"So far there is lack of agreement on MRV-LCA," Ramesh admitted. The Indian ministers, who has been asked to coordinate between ministers participating in the United Nations annual climate conference, said the biggest issue in Cancun was future of Kyoto Protocol. Japan on the first day of the conference had said that it will not agree to a second commitment period of the protocol and thereafter, Russia, New Zealand, Canada and Australia has supported its position.

The developing countries led by G-77 plus China and Bolivia has strongly sought second commitment period for the Protocol, a view supported by India. "Untill we know of the substance we can't talk about the legal form (of Cancun outcome)," environment secretary Vijai Sharma said, while referring to the future of the protocol at a plenary session.

The Basic group also wanted a clear statement on Kyoto Protocol in the final Cancun statement and a commitment that the fast track finance for the year 2010 should come by middle of 2011. The rich countries have failed to met its commitment of US $ 10 billion as fast track finance to poor nations in 2010.

Ramesh said that the Basic group was of the view that there should be a mechanism to keep discussion open on intellectual property rights issue, which is part of the technology transfer regime. The ministerial level discussions on the nature of Cancun statement will start from Monday.

The Basic group was of the view that there should a balanced outcome at Cancun building on operating guidelines for MRV-LCA, forestry, adaptation, technology and financial mechanism.