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Copenhagen climate talks resume after brief suspension

world Updated: Dec 14, 2009 20:50 IST
PTI
Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh

The crucial climate talks resumed today after a brief suspension after the BASIC bloc comprising India, Brazil, China and South Africa succeeded in extracting an assurance from the Chair that the conference would proceed in a "fully transparent" manner without any "surprises".

The talks were suspended earlier today after India and other emerging nations walked out protesting that the rich countries were making attempts to shirk responsibility in tackling global warming.

"There was concern that the Kyoto Protocol track was not given the importance it deserves," Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said referring to the pact that asks rich nations to make commitments to cut their carbon emissions beyond 2012.

The talks, which resumed after a weekend break, hit turbulence with the African countries, supported by the G77 and BASIC bloc walked out angered that the conference was weakening in support for the Kyoto Protocol.

The ministers participating in the talks met the President of the 15th Conference of Parties Connie Hedegaard and told her that they needed an assurance that urgent attention would be given to the Kyoto Protocol, especially to clear emission cut targets for the second commitment period.

"The issue has been resolved," Ramesh told PTI emerging out of a 45-minute meeting the ministers had with Hedegaard. MORE

The chairs G77 and China who were also present at the meeting with Hedegaard, expressed concern that the developed countries were "plotting" to undermine the Kyoto Protocol.

"What we have is a situation that developed where issues pertaining to Kyoto Protocol were not on the table and that led the Africa group to make a decision to the president that we shall not participate in any negotiations until the issues of Kyoto Protocol are discussed," Lumumba Stanislaus Di-Aping, Sudan's envoy and co-chair of the G-77, told reporters.

"We know that the developed countries have made the decision that they would want to kill the Kyoto Protocol in order to change the balance of obligations between developed countries and developing countries," he said.

The Kyoto Protocol is an international that sets binding targets for 37 industrialised countries for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to an average of five per cent against 1990 levels over the five-year period 2008-2012.

Hedegaard assured the ministers that the conference would proceed as a normal COP, it would not be top down but fully transparent, Ramesh said.

There would be no surprises and all ministers would be involved in the informal consultations, she said. Till now only a selective group were attending the meeting, Ramesh said quoting the COP-15 Chair.

The chairs G77 and China who were also present at the meeting with Hedegaard, expressed concern that the developed countries were "plotting" to undermine the Kyoto Protocol.

"What we have is a situation that developed where issues pertaining to Kyoto Protocol were not on the table and that led the Africa group to make a decision to the president that we shall not participate in any negotiations until the issues of Kyoto Protocol are discussed," Lumumba Stanislaus Di-Aping, Sudan's envoy and co-chair of the G-77, told reporters.

"We know that the developed countries have made the decision that they would want to kill the Kyoto Protocol in order to change the balance of obligations between developed countries and developing countries," he said.

The Kyoto Protocol is an international that sets binding targets for 37 industrialised countries for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to an average of five per cent against 1990 levels over the five-year period 2008-2012.

Hedegaard assured the ministers that the conference would proceed as a normal COP, it would not be top down but fully transparent, Ramesh said.

There would be no surprises and all ministers would be involved in the informal consultations, she said. Till now only a selective group were attending the meeting, Ramesh said quoting the COP-15 Chair.