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India rejects treaty pts, wants all nations to cut emissions

Last Updated: Monday, December 14, 2009 - 00:13

Copenhagen: As climate change talks set to
enter the crucial second stage, India on Sunday rejected points in
the draft treaty that wants all countries to cut emissions,
agree to a year after which emissions would start reducing and
subject their mitigation actions to international scrutiny.

With the official draft treaty circulated on Friday
creating clear divisions among 194 countries, Environment
Minister Jairam Ramesh said that he would use the draft as a
"starting point for further negotiations.

However, he made it clear that India would not compromise
on its three key principles -- no legally binding emission
cuts, no peaking year and no international review of
domestic-funded mitigation actions.

"India will not compromise on its `teen-murti`," he said
adding that the outcome of the talks must be within the UN
Framework on Climate Change, stick to the Kyoto Protocol and
abide by the Bali Action Plan.

"We must get an agreement in 2010," Ramesh said, adding
that the text of the political statement should be ready by
December 15.

He hinted at a political statement at the end of the
12-day talks which will be attended by Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh.

"I have clearly and categorically stated on behalf of the
government of India that our Prime Minister is not coming here
to negotiate the text," Ramesh said.

Article three of the draft treaty calls on all parties to
reduce the emission cuts by 50, 85 or 90 per cent by 2050,
while the subsequent part wants all parties to "peak" their
carbon emissions "as soon as possible".

Article 8 calls for a comprehensive review of the
implementation of mitigation obligations with the first round
beginning in 2016.

"I have made it absolutely clear that 3, 4, 8 are red
lines as far as India is concerned. We have problems not only
with the drafting but also with the idea," Ramesh said.

Noting that while India had a problem certain provisions
of these drafts it was willing to use them as a basic text to
build on.

"These are the only two documents that have legitimacy
that have been prepared by the two chairs," the minister said.

"There are many things in these drafts we have problems
with," he said adding that "the great advantages of these
drafts are that they have been driven by all governments, it
has been done in a transparent manner and it follows a two
track approach.

The 15th meeting of the Conference of Parties had
entrusted the responsibility of reaching a deal to two groups
-- one to suggest long term cooperative action under the
UNFCCC and the other to indicate further commitments by
developed countries under the Kyoto Protocol.

The two groups had submitted the draft texts on Friday.
Informal talks among the environment ministers on the
draft deal, criticised by rich nations and emerging economies,
continued over the weekend with the hope that they could agree
on a text that could be put before the heads of state and
government assembling for the plenary here later next week.

The highlight of the past week was an attempt by tiny
Pacific Island nation Tuvalu to stall the negotiations by
staging a walkout as the chair of the conference refused to
take up its proposal for limiting the global temperature rise
to 1.5 degrees Celsius from the pre-industrial years.

However, Danish Minister Connie Hedegaard, chairing the
talks, insisted that procedural advances in the first six days
had been "fantastic."

"The core discussions... have really started," she said
adding the the delegates "still have a daunting task in front
of us over the next few days."

Sticking to its one protocol approach, developing
countries like India, China and Brazil are opposing attempts
led Tuvalu and Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) to add
another protocol to the Kyoto Protocol.

India and other developing nations suspect that Europe`s
support for a new protocol is also an attempt to weaken the
Kyoto Protocol.

The Kyoto Protocol sets binding targets for 37 developed
countries countries for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG)
emissions to an average of five per cent against 1990 levels
over the five-year period 2008-2012.

However, EU, like Tuvalu and AOSIS have said here that
this Copenhagen summit needs to produce a document much
stronger than the Kyoto Protocol that neither puts obligations
on US nor on emerging economies.

R K Pachauri, Head of the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change, warned that failure to come out with a pact to
combat global warming will be a "major setback" to the world.

"If we are able to get a good agreement it would create
an enormous amount of confidence in the ability of human
society to be able to act on a multilateral basis.

"If we fail I don`t think everything is lost but it
certainly would be a major setback," he said.

Sweden`s environment minister, Andreas Carlgren said: "If
we were to end up with an agreement where the only legally
binding part would be the Kyoto Protocol then we would not
manage to achieve what is needed."

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that he was
"cautiously optimistic" on the outcome of UN climate talks
even as he termed the first week of talks as a "good start".

"I`m still optimistic, but cautious. I`m cautiously
optimistic," he told AFP at the airport of the Danish capital.

Another report said that the riot police had arrested
dozens of protesters today as around 200 people tried to block
a section of Copenhagen`s port.

Meanwhile, Danish police said they had released almost
all of the nearly 1,000 climate protesters arrested
during a weekend mass rally.

Only 13 were still in detention this afternoon, some of
whom were charged with violence against police.

PTI

First Published: Monday, December 14, 2009 - 00:13

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