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Climate talks: Lukewarm response to India`s agenda

Last Updated: Monday, December 5, 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.

PTI

First Published: Monday, December 5, 2011 - 22:15
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