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EU, India clash at Copenhagen over 'climate justice'

India and the EU today clashed at the climate conference over the contentious issue of making domestic commitments legally-binding, with the European bloc pressing for "verifiable" targets saying no country had the "right to pollute". See special | Listen to podcastaudio

world Updated: Dec 12, 2009 16:30 IST

India and the EU on Saturday clashed at the climate conference over the contentious issue of making domestic commitments legally-binding, with the European bloc pressing for "verifiable" targets saying no country had the "right to pollute".

On the fifth day of torturous negotiations here, a debate erupted between India and the European Union at a press conference where both sides expressing their views on issues of climate justice.

The director-general of environment for the European Commission Karl Falkenberger, made it clear that EU expected India, China and other emerging economies to report on their national mitigation programmes, which would have to be incorporated in an international treaty, a demand India has strongly resisted.

"We need these contributions from everyone. We need them in a legally binding manner from everyone. Differentiated commitments we can accept but it has to be verifiable," he said.

The remarks drew objection from India, with senior negotiator Chandrashekar Dasgupta noting that Falkneberg's position fell short of climate justice.

"There are two things that we are seeking climate adequacy and climate justice (equity)," Dasgupta said.

"Our position has always been very clear... every human being has an equal right to resources of the atmosphere; therefore you have to take the per capita approach taking also into account the historical emissions," he said.