Climate talks: Lukewarm response to India`s agenda
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Last Updated: Monday, December 05, 2011, 22:15
Durban: India's three point agenda -- talks on carbon space sharing, IPR and unilateral trade barriers has got a lukewarm response from key negotiating blocs, including the LDC countries, as nations stepped up effort to build consensus on USD 100 billion climate fund and Kyoto Protocol.

The three point agenda, includes equitable sharing of atmospheric carbon space, technology sharing and intellectual property rights (IPR), which were left out of the were left out of the 2010 Cancun Agreement. The third item is unilateral trade barriers ((in response to the European Union aviation tax), which India opposes.

After losing out in last year's talks in Cancun, the Indian delegation insisted that negotiators here in the South African city take up these these issues.

Pa Ousman JARJU from Gambia, who represented the Least Developed Countries (LDC), indicated that bloc agreed with India in principle but there really isn't time for new discussions on the issues that New Delhi is pushing.

"We are in agreement with India but we cannot wait any longer," he said. "Everyone must do something". Government negotiators from 194 countries have gathered to discuss the next steps to combat climate change.

After the first week of talks, little progress has been made on key issues like the annual USD 100 billion Green Climate Fund and the future of the Kyoto Protocol, the only legally binding treaty, which is in jeopardy.

Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan who arrived here on Monday took charge of the Indian delegation, which is under pressure to accept legally binding emission cuts from the developed countries as well as the most vulnerable developing nations as well.

India remains steadfast that eradicating poverty remains its top agenda, which also corresponds to its decision to revisit the issue of equity.

Artur Runge-Metzger, from the European Union, said that the present conference in Durban was not the right time to add new-agenda items to the current discussions. "That is overloading the process," he said.

In 2005, developed countries promised to transfer complex technologies to developing countries free of cost to cope up with climate change.

But in 2009 at Copenhagen, they failed to commit to such transfers citing the problematic intellectual property rights regime.

Runge-Metzger also noted that the discussion on IPR had been carried out for more than a decade but no solution had been reached.

The European diplomat reiterated the continent's position that trade discussion should be taken up under the WTO and not the UN framework (UNFCCC).

"Is the UNFCCC to do the work of the WTO?" he asked.

"Is the intention of India to duplicate the work?"

Informal discussions on India's agenda items are currently being carried out. The Indian delegation here maintains that the agenda-items have been well received.


First Published: Monday, December 05, 2011, 22:15

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