Rejecting the widespread pessimism about next month’s Copenhagen conference on climate change, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said countries must “try to achieve as much convergence as possible” towards a “legally binding outcome.”
Developed countries, particularly the US, have not signalled their willingness for such an agreement.
“If the consensus is that only a political document is feasible, then we must make certain that the post-Copenhagen process continues to work….on the international template for global climate change action,” Singh told a special session on climate change at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meet.
The PM recalled that India had “repeatedly emphasised” the need for “comprehensive, balanced and above all equitable” outcome in Copenhagen.
“India is willing to sign on to an ambitious global target for emissions reductions or limiting temperature increase, but this must be accompanied by an equitable burden-sharing paradigm,” Singh said.
Shyam Saran, special envoy to the PM on climate change, said: “India has always maintained that global reduction targets...without specifying who will do what are meaningless. The emphasis is on ‘equitable burden sharing’.”
Saran said India would, as part of its voluntary mitigation measures, come out with some targets for reducing the carbon intensity of its emissions.
After a meeting with Singh, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said he hoped the Indian PM would be personally present in Copenhagen. Indian diplomats did not rule out the possibility.