No legally binding pledges by India on emissions
New Delhi: Days after the Durban Climate Summit, Government today insisted that India has agreed to no legally-binding commitments to reduce its emissions in absolute terms in 2020.
Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan told Parliament that India has already announced a domestic mitigation goal of reducing the emissions intensity of its output by 20-25 per cent by 2020 in comparison with 2005 level.
"This goal is relative in nature and allows India`s emissions to grow as the economy grows," she said in identical suo motu statements in both Houses.
She insisted that the decision of the Durban meet "does not imply that India has to take binding commitments to reduce its emissions in absolute terms in 2020."
India successfully resisted move by some countries led by the European Union to delete the option relating to legal outcome which was originally mooted by India, she said, adding India had in turn suggested a similar expression "agreed outcome with legal force" which found acceptance with all the Parties.
"The post 2020 arrangements, when finalized, may include some aspirational CoP (Conference of Parties`) decisions, binding CoP decisions, setting up of new institutions and bodies, and new protocols or other legal instruments as necessary to implement the decisions covering various issues with various degrees of binding-ness as per domestic or international provisions of law under the Convention," she said.
"India has already announced a domestic mitigation goal of reducing the emissions intensity of its output by 20-25 per cent by 2020 in comparison with 2005 level. This goal is relative in nature and allows India`s emissions to grow as the economy grows," the Environment Minister said.
Noting that India`s National Action Plan on Climate Change is designed to meet this objective, Natarajan said further steps to implement a strategy that will meet this domestic goal are being taken as part of implementation of the 12th Five Year Plan.
She said India ensured that the new arrangements in 2020 are established under the Convention and this will ensure that the principles and provisions of the Convention will continue to apply to the arrangements to be developed.
"India will negotiate the nature of agreed outcome strictly in accordance with the principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibility as provided under the Convention," she said.
The Durban decision mandates that the outcome has to be agreed by all parties before it is implemented through legal arrangements having force.
"The decision allows India the necessary flexibility over the choice of appropriate legal form to be decided in future.
This choice will be guided by our national development imperatives and the principles of the Convention," she said.
Natarajan said the Durban Conference has decided to launch Durban Platform for conducting negotiations on the arrangements for a future protocol or a legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force, to be finalized no sooner than 2015 and to be implemented not later than 2020.
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