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Manmohan meets Wen amid `Flop-hagen` climate gridlock

Last Updated: Friday, December 18, 2009 - 16:16

Copenhagen: No headway was made in climate talks here with the US and China refusing to budge from their
positions on emission cuts as negotiators struggled Friday to
strike a face-saving deal to tackle global warming.

Indications of an impasse in the talks came from Swedish
Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren who said no agreed text
had emerged ahead of the meeting of 110 world leaders.

"It is now up to the world leaders to decide," he said
while blaming China and the US for the deadlock.

Amid the hard negotiations, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
met his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao to consolidate the
position of developing countries.

During his meeting with Wen, Singh recalled that the two
countries have been cooperating at various fora, including the
G-20.

"We need to continue the cooperation," said the Prime
Minister, who arrived in the Danish capital late last night to
take part in the high-level segment UN climate talks.

India and China are the key members of the BASIC bloc --
with others being Brazil and South Africa -- which along with
other developing countries have been resisting attempts by
the rich nations to set aside the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

The protocol sets legally binding greenhouse gas
emissions reduction targets for industrialised nations. It
also has a strong compliance mechanism which penalises the
rich nations if they do not meet emission reduction targets
agreed upon by them.

US President Barack Obama also arrived in the Danish
capital to join world leaders in giving a final push to an
ambitious deal. The leaders will consider two documents -- one
on long-term cooperation under the framework convention and
another on the Kyoto Protocol.

"There will be some political declaration," Environment
Minister Jairam Ramesh told reporters.

Amid last-ditch efforts to salvage the climate summit, the
Danish government came out with a draft accord that skipped
putting more onus on developed countries on emission cuts and
mitigation targets but promised USD 100 billion in finance to
developing countries by 2020.

The Association of Small Island States, however, said the
USD 100 billion figure was an old figure and not enough.

The draft, which may undergo several revisions, reflected
the key Indian demand that only action involving international
finances are open to scrutiny.

Singh, who held hectic parleys with the Indian team here
after arriving at the Bella Centre accompanied by Foreign
Secretary Nirupama Rao and his Special Envoy Shyam Saran, has
made it clear that climate change cannot be addressed by
perpetuating the poverty of developing countries.

The Danish draft was circulated after marathon
negotiations among key players that stretched overnight.

The document also refers to containing the global rise in
temperature to 2 degrees Celsius before the greenhouse gases
stabilise, in consonance with the Indian position.

Small island states, most vulnerable to global warming,
have demanded that the rise be limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius
as compared to pre-industrial times.

PTI

First Published: Friday, December 18, 2009 - 16:16
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