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India wants equity to be central to new climate deal

world Updated: Dec 05, 2012 23:19 IST
Chetan Chauhan
Chetan Chauhan
Hindustan Times
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India on Wednesday said that equity should be applicable to all areas under the new climate agreement which is under discussion and not just for reducing emissions.

“Equity does not mean limitation. It applies to all sectors but it is a challenge to enforce it across all sectors,” said R Rashmi, joint secretary in the ministry of environment and forest and India's climate negotiator at Doha.

Speaking at a side event organised by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) at Doha climate conference, Rashmi elaborated why equity as a founding principle of the new climate deal, to be readied by 2015 and implemented from 2020, was essential not just for India but all developing countries. “Equity may have different meanings for different parties but everyone (all developing countries) wants it,” he said.

India had intervened on Wednesday to bring equity back on the negotiating table linked with key other issues of concern such as copyright in clean technologies and empty shell in technology transfer mechanism and green climate fund.

When asked whether India made a mistake by not getting equity explicitly included in the Durban decision for a new agreement, Rashmi talked out compulsions of multilateral negotiating process. “Everybody wanted the biggest historical emitter United States to be part of the deal in 2020,” he said, adding that principle of equity flows from the principles of the convention mentioned in the Durban platform.

Sunita Narian, director general of CSE, however, suggested to Rashmi that India should walk out of Doha if equity fails to find place in the agreements. “Walk out of Doha. No deal without equity,” she said, even as Rashmi expressed hope of a good deal in Doha. He did not reply to walk-out proposition.

The veteran Indian negotiator said that there has been a lot of progress on second commitment period for existing climate treaty, Kyoto Protocol, and hoped that differences in resource mobilization would be sorted out with minister from Switzerland and South Africa talking to representatives of different regional groups.

Rashmi also agreed that climate decisions were more linked with political considerations than evidence from science and environmental concerns. He was of the view that more scientific work needs to be done in emerging aspects of climate change to bring political acceptability. Most of scientific research is based in western countries reflecting their point of view, thereby unbalancing the negotiations in favour of the rich nations.

Narian earlier in a presentation pointed out importance of equity in climate negotiations and explained that the principle to first pollute and then clean-up was not an acceptable solution. “The developed world which has historically polluted needs to pay for the developing countries to leapfrog into clean technologies,” she said, a view held by many negotiators of the developing world.