Don`t read too much into Ramesh`s statement at Cancun: PM

Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh had yesterday said all countries must take binding commitments in appropriate legal form.

Brussels: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday sought to downplay controversial remarks made by Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh at the climate change summit in Cancun, saying "don`t read too much into this".

The Prime Minister`s response came to a question after a joint press meet with EU President Herman Van Rompuy when a reporter asked him whether there has been any change in India`s stand on climate change in the wake of what Ramesh said.

Ramesh had yesterday created a flutter when he deviated from his prepared text, saying "all countries must take binding commitments in appropriate legal form", implying that India was ready to accept legally binding emission cuts, a move it has vehemently resisted.
"Don`t read too much into this," the Prime Minister told reporters seeking his views on the developments in Cancun.

India has come under pressure from South Africa and Brazil, who are part of the BASIC group, to commit to some kind of legally-binding cuts.

Ramesh claimed that there has been no shifting of the goal post. However, he went on to qualify that he stood by India`s position that it will not accept internationally
binding cuts "at this stage" because he does not know what the conditions that accompany them are.

The minister said he had articulated a "nuanced" position.

"There is no shift in the position, only nuancing," he told a news agency, pointing out that India was trying to find room for "manoeuvre" due to increasing pressure from developing nations.