Saran tightlipped on reported differences with Ramesh



New Delhi: 'The climate was just right for me to leave' -- this is what Shyam Saran had to say about his quitting as Prime Minister's special envoy on Climate Change.

Saran was replying to a question on whether he had any difference with government which led to his sudden departure.

"The only thing that I can say is that the climate was right for me to leave," he quipped at a summit co-organised by The Wall Street Journal and CII.

The former Foreign Secretary, who later was appointed as special envoy to Prime Minister on Climate Change, stepped down from the post on February 19 reportedly after having differences with Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh. However, he continued in office till March 14.

Saran was initially appointed special envoy during negotiations relating to the Indo-US nuclear deal in August 2006 after he retired from the Foreign Secretary's post.

His role was expanded in April 2008 to cover climate diplomacy as well to mobilise support for India's stand on climate change issues ahead of the December 2009 Copenhagen summit.

Saran and Ramesh were at loggerheads on several issues including the continuation of Kyoto Protocol.

Saran who had served as Foreign Secretary from July 2004 to September 2006 played a key role in the India-US civil nuclear deal and drafting of several of the eight missions under India's National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

He has also served as Indian Ambassador to Nepal, Indonesia and Myanmar and High Commissioner to Mauritius.