‘PM coming to adopt draft, not negotiate’

Jairam Ramesh said there will not be any political statement at the end of the Copenhagen Summit.

Last Updated: Dec 15, 2009, 16:19 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Copenhagen: Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday announced there will not be any political statement at the end of the Copenhagen Summit currently underway at the Danish capital.

Speaking to a news channel, Ramesh said the Summit would probably conclude with the adoption of a draft minus the political statement.

While acknowledging there was tremendous confusion at Copenhagen, the minister reiterated India would not agree to any legally binding carbon emission cuts.

According to the minister, two drafts are being discussed at the Summit – one on Kyoto Protocol (KP) and the other on Long-term Cooperative Action (LCA).

Ramesh said the draft to be adopted must be ready latest by Thursday morning, in time before heads of state/governments arrive in the Danish capital for the leaders’ conference on December 18.

“It would be unreasonable to expect the heads of state look at negotiations… our PM must come here to adopt the draft and not negotiate,” Ramesh added.

The minister’s remarks came as hopes for a far-reaching deal on climate change receded in Denmark. At Copenhagen, India is making a strong pitch for extending the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012 and commitments that legally bind developed countries to reduce emissions.

The crucial talks at the Summit were suspended briefly yesterday following a walkout by the BASIC bloc, including India and China, protesting that the rich countries were making attempts to shirk responsibility in tackling global warming. The Africa group also boycotted the proceedings briefly.

The talks resumed after the BASIC bloc succeeded in extracting an assurance from the Chair that the summit would proceed in a "fully transparent" manner without any "surprises".

Ramesh told the channel that the BASIC countries helped restart the negotiations after yesterday’s deadlock. He added that host country Denmark agreed to continue discussions on the Kyoto Protocol.

The BASIC bloc and Africa want the developed countries to make mitigation pledges under the second commitment period from 2013-18 but the European Union, Australia, Japan, Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) want a document broader than the existing Protocol that puts obligations on the United States and on emerging economies.

The overall climate negotiations at Copenhagen are moving under two tracks – the first track is LCA under Bali Action Plan that requires parties to produce a legally binding treaty before the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol ends in 2012.

The second track is the extension of the KP into the second commitment period from 2013 to 2018 where developed countries listed under Annex B will have to take binding cuts.

Delegates from 192 countries have been for a week attempting to hammer out a climate change text before the heads of state/government from over a 100 countries including Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President Barack Obama arrive later this week.