New Delhi: Just two days before Copenhagen climate summit, two key Indian negotiators refused to join the delegation citing "confusion" over the country's position on the issue but were later "convinced" by the Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh to attend the crucial meet.
Former IFS officer Chandrashekhar Dasgupta and ex-Environment Secretary Pradipto Gosh, who discussed with Ramesh on the issue, told media that on the basis of certain "assurances" offered by the Minister they now plan to assist the delegation at Copenhagen.
They pointed that they delayed their departure as they had some reservation over the issues such as the country's basic position on per capita emission principles, transfer of technology, verification and domestically financed programmes.
"I delayed my departure for Copenhagen in order to consult with the Environment Minister on some issues arising in some media reports, which seem to water down Prime Minister's per capita approach, his position on technology transfer and International Property Rights," Dasgupta said.
While he claimed that he did not have any problem with the emission intensity forecast of cutting down it voluntarily by 20-25 percent by 2020 over 2005 levels, he said, "in fact, my main concern is that we have been offering unilateral concessions, without obtaining any reciprocity.
The negotiator also wanted to be clarified on the government's stand on international verification or review of our domestically funded mitigation actions (recently re-iterated in Parliament as a non-negotiable element that cannot be "modulated", except under two specific conditions).
The last is important because, unlike many other international agreements, the climate change convention does not require reviews or any other type of consultations for domestic actions of developing countries, he said.
The negotiators were also concerned whether the last minute announcement of India to have "flexibility" meant changing stand on the equitable per capita emissions taken by it all along at the international forum.
Ghosh, who will also attend the summit, too said "we had some doubts, on the which air has been cleared by Ramesh.
"We are now on the same page. We will join the delegation soon."
Other negotiators has already left for Copenhagen last evening to participate in the talks to chalk out a new climate treaty that would replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.
The negotiating team -- comprising Shyam Saran, Prime Ministers' Special Envoy on climate change, Ajai Mathur, head of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Vijai Sharma, Environment Secretary -- has left for Copenhagen.
Regarding the two negotiators who were apprehensive of joining the Indian delegation, Ramesh said "there were no differences and the two negotiators were very much part of the Indian climate team for Copenhagen. They will be leaving either tomorrow night or Tuesday morning."
He said "their departure was delayed by two days because of the detailed consultations we were having on our negotiating position (at the Copenhagen)."
The minister has been under attack from various quarters, including political parties and environmentalists, for his announcement to cut the emissions intensity by 20-25 percent by 2020, as it was on the footsteps of China which is the largest emitter in the world.
Ramesh's statement, that India could be agreeable to international review for its mitigation action while maintaining silence on adaptation issue, has also drawn flak.
First Published: Sunday, December 06, 2009, 18:07