India has received an assurance from China that it will not strike a separate deal with the West at the forthcoming Copenhagen climate change summit in December.
Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, currently in Beijing, asked Chinese climate change negotiators whether they were considering abandoning India.
Impossible, they replied. “If you have doubts, don’t listen to your civil servants. Call me,’’ Xie Zhenhua, vice-minister of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, reportedly told Ramesh.
On Monday, after nearly five hours in the first bilateral ministerial-level talks on climate change, India and China came closer to teaming up on global climate change negotiations than ever before.
“There’s an attempt in the Western world to label us obstructionist at Copenhagen,’’ Ramesh told the media after the talks. “We agreed it’s in our interest to have an agreement in Copenhagen. We should do out-of-the-box thinking.’’
Both agreed to reject attempts by Western nations to play one against the other. The Chinese team reportedly explained at length that Beijing was not trying to strike a separate deal with the United States. Both agreed to coordinate their approach before global meetings on climate change.
India and China are under pressure from the West to make concessions in the run-up to the summit, which will try to produce a successor to the Kyoto Protocol of 1986 which limited man-made carbon emissions.
India and China oppose legally binding emission targets for developing nations.