Durban: India is open to discussion on a new legally binding climate change treaty but the principle of equity -- the right of developing nations -- should be central to it, Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan said.
"I have come to Durban with an open mind. But I would like to know whether it would be binding only for mitigation and whether it will be the same for Annex-1 (developed) and non-Annex-1 (developing) countries," Natarajan told reporters during a side event Monday night.
Natarajan, who took over as head of the Indian delegation Monday said: "We are not against any solution to the goal of climate stabilisation."
"I need to know before this is achieved how will equity figure in the climate change debate? How will IPR issue figure and how transfer of technology and unilateral trade measures figure. I will also like the answer (to) how they will meet developing countries imperatives to grow," she asked.
The event was organised by the environment ministry and the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).
The minister emphasised on the issue of equity saying it should be central to any debate. "We are here to find a solution and are committed to it. Equity is central to debate on climate change and this is what we believe. We need to take it as not just climate imperative but social imperative and development imperative," she said.
She said India is most vulnerable to climate change but at the same time has the right to grow.
Rejecting reports that India is being seen as a deal breaker, Jayanthi said: "I don`t believe we are standing out ... we are embedded firmly in BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) countries and all of us are on the same page as far important issues are concerned."
"Many other developing countries are also supporting our position. I had a meeting with European Union and we have expressed our concerns. We are hopeful that there will be extention of Kyoto Protocol and countries that are not party will take comparable measures."