Emerging powers of the world join hands | world | Hindustan Times
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Emerging powers of the world join hands

China, India, South Africa and Brazil have united to draw the battle-lines for the Copenhagen climate summit, after their own surprise seven-hour summit skillfully staged by the Chinese leadership in Beijing on Saturday, reports Reshma Patil. PM favours fair burden-sharing | Full coverage

world Updated: Nov 29, 2009 01:40 IST
Reshma Patil

China, India, South Africa and Brazil have united to draw the battle-lines for the Copenhagen climate summit, after their own surprise seven-hour summit skillfully staged by the Chinese leadership in Beijing on Saturday.

In a pre-Copenhagen coup quietly planned by China, as it grappled with global pressure to curb emissions as the world’s biggest polluter, the four nations have clinched their own deal to counter targets from the developed world.

For India and this new combine, it will be ‘non-negotiable’ under any circumstances to accept legally binding emission cuts.

“We’ll not exit in isolation. We will coordinate our exit if any of the non-negotiables is violated,” said India’s environment minister Jairam Ramesh in Beijing. “ This is going to be a collective decision.”

This is the first attempt by developing nations to present a plan for the Copenhagen summit when the world will negotiate a global deal to curb man-made emissions that cause global warming.

“We hope that this draft will serve as a basis for negotiation,” said Ramesh, who called it a compromise draft but one that met India’s goals and several Indian suggestions in the final version.

On Friday night, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao stunned the delegates, including Ramesh, with news that the Chinese had a 10-page negotiation strategy.

Overnight, the delegates studied the draft conveniently scripted in simple English. On Saturday, the draft was reworked and the four nations, supported by Sudan representing the G-77 chair, united for a ‘positive, ambitious and equitable’ outcome in Copenhagen.

On December 1, China’s top climate negotiator Xie Zhenhua will present the draft in Copenhagen, when a Denmark draft is up for discussion with nations including India and China. The Denmark draft may have features that go against the non-negotiables in the Chinese draft.

Ramesh emphasised the non-negotiables for India include rejecting the concept of a peak year before emissions decline. Actions to mitigate climate change impact that are not supported by global finance and technology will not be subject to global measurement, reporting and verification. They also agreed to reject an agreement that does not reject using climate change as a trade barrier.

The draft is reportedly anchored in the existing Kyoto Protocol and calls on developed nations to take on legally binding emission cuts while developing nations will take responsibility for nationally appropriate mitigation actions.

“We are in agreement on major issues including those relating to the establishment of a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol and a shared vision for long-term cooperative action on climate change,’’ said a statement issued after the meeting. “This work represents a good starting point and we will continue to work together over the next few days and weeks as our contribution toward a consensus in Copenhagen.”

The media statement focussed on ‘mitigation’ of emissions, ‘adaptation’ to climate change impact and the provision of finance and technology to enable these actions, and the special needs of the least developed nations, island states and Africa, where China has major investment stakes.