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US says Ramesh's ICA proposal addresses its concerns

United States for the first time admitted that Indian environment minister Jairam Ramesh's proposal on transparency in climate mitigation actions reflected some of its concerns.

world Updated: Dec 07, 2010 10:06 IST
Chetan Chauhan

United States for the first time admitted that Indian environment minister Jairam Ramesh's proposal on transparency in climate mitigation actions reflected some of its concerns.

"It is progressive towards the pledge (of countries to reduce emissions)," said US's head of climate team Todd Stern. "Ramesh has submitted a ICA proposal (international consultation and analysis) proposal which provides remedy regarding information on mitigation actions."

Ramesh's proposal says that every country, whose emissions is more than one percent of the global average should report its mitigation actions to a United Nations body once in every two or three years. Rest once in five or six years. The regime proposed for the developed world, which has emission targets under the Kyoto Protocol is stricter than the one for developing world, which has no such commitment.

Raising an issue not addressed in the proposal, Stern wanted to know how the developing world especially India and China will define its business as usual (BAU) scenario. Both India and China has committed to reduce emission intensity for per unit of GDP by 2020 in business as usual scenario.

"Critical assumption for us at this point is what would be business as usual as it would vary for each country," Stern said.

Most of the elements, which Stern wanted in the proposed ICA regime matched Ramesh's proposal. He wanted that countries should submit their actions to UN's Subsidiary body on Implementation (SBI), which Ramesh also said.

Another similarity was that reports should be available to every country to scrutinise.

The ICA and measurement review and verification (MRV) regime is one of the most contentious issues after second commitment period for Kyoto Protocol. China, which has come a long way in agreeing to ICA-MRV, was clear that international consultation should apply only to voluntary domestic mitigation actions without any foreign aid and MRV to actions supported by international finance. "ICA should respect national sovernighty and should not be intrusive," said Chinese climate change minister Xie Zhenhua.

After meeting with different groups on his proposal, Ramesh on Monday said the ICA should be anchored in the multi-lateral process and there cannot be any punitive action against countries, who refuse to reply to queries from other nations.

Stern, however, made it clear that there was not much progress on the transparency issue (ICA-MRV). "If not this year, there should be something by next year," he said.