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India a climate change deal maker: Jairam

world Updated: Oct 25, 2009 20:18 IST
KumKum Dasgupta

Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh said on Saturday that India will come to Copenhagen in December as an "interested party" and a "deal maker, not a deal breaker". Speaking at a climate change conference here, the minister said that a lack of agreement in December would affect India as much as it would affect other vulnerable developing nations.

A global summit in Copenhagen in December will try to agree on a climate agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

Ramesh, however, added that India is not "obligated" to take on legally binding emission reduction targets. "That is not on the table as far as India is concerned," he said.

Speaking on UN climate change negotiations in Bangkok, which ended on Friday, Ramesh blamed the European Union for abandoning the basic structure of Kyoto Protocol and said that it was now up to the EU to build "trust between rich and developing nations".

"Recent events in Bangkok have cast a long shadow over what is going to happen in the Copenhagen negotiations," Ramesh said.

Nations should scale down ambitions for a global climate deal in Copenhagen in December rather than have "exaggerated expectations", he added.

Only one more week of negotiations -- in Barcelona next month -- remain before negotiators move to Copenhagen.

He urged countries to sign a limited deal in Copenhagen in December that would focus on financing from rich countries to those affected by global warming, on forestry and on transfers of technology.

"We have to be realistic, we have to be pragmatic," Ramesh said. "

Let us clinch those elements of the deal that we can clinch. Let not the perfect become the enemy of the good."

"Then we can come back to Copenhagen in the summer of 2010 to clinch the larger agreement," he said.

Ramesh warned against what he called the "mistake of the Doha round" of trade talks. "The basic problem of the Doha round was 'all or nothing,'" he said.

The minister said rich nations should sign up for carbon reduction targets while developing countries should offer "nationally accountable mitigation outcomes,", which he described as domestic legislation mandating fuel efficiency standards, stricter building codes and clean coal technology.

"If all countries are treated alike the proposal is dead," he said, adding that except for Norway and Japan rich countries haven't offered enough carbon reductions.