BASIC denies reports of differences on climate



BASIC denies reports of differences on climate Beijing: Dismissing reports of differences, BASIC countries, including India today said that the forthcoming Durban climate conference should establish the second commitment period of Kyoto Protocol and the developed countries should deliver on commitments to reduce emissions.

"Ministers emphasised that the Kyoto Protocol is the cornerstone of the climate regime and its second commitment period is essential priority for the success of Durban Conference," a joint statement issued after the two day deliberations of the Environment Ministers of Brazil, South Africa, India and China (BASIC) said here.

Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan who took part in a joint press conference refuted reports that India is isolated in view of change of stand by South Africa.

The BASIC stood as one in emphasising that the developed countries should undertake quantified emission reduction commitments, she said.

"I feel those reports (of India being isolated) are unfounded. If you go by the record, our stand is consistent.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said we will reduce the intensity our emissions by 2020, which is voluntary statement. It will not exceed our per capita rate and at the same keep up growth rate," Natarajan told the Indian media at a separate briefing.

"Beyond that it has always been our stand we should extend commitment period of Kyoto Protocol and base line should be the stock of emissions.

There should be standard where historical emissions should be taken into consideration," she said.

The Kyoto Protocol which commits rich nations to carbon emission cuts expires in 2012 and several developed nations are apprehensive as neither the US nor the China come under its ambit.

Of the two international meetings Natarajan attended after she took over as Environment Minister, including the BASIC Ministers meet, she has seen everyone broadly agreeing with India's stand. "Therefore the question of India getting isolated does not arise," she said.

Natarajan said South Africa which is hosting the ten day Durban meeting beginning from November 28 has not shown any change in its contrary to reports that it was going to demand the legally banding commitments from developing countries.

The South African representative, who addressed the joint press conference in the absence of their Minister said "there is misunderstanding that South Africa is advocating the developing countries to take on these quantified emissions reduction objectives. That is untrue."

"We have held a position that we will meet our legal obligation to take mitigation action consistent with our common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. Hope that clarifies that misunderstanding," he said.

Natarajan said during the two day meeting South Africa has not indicated in anyway it had changed its stand.

"They are generally part of consensus" endorsing the demand for second commitment period. She pointed out that the joint statement has actually highlighted the importance of the Indian proposals to include the issues of equity, trade and intellectual property rights, (IPR) in the provisional agenda of the Durban conference, which shows that India's views were respected.

PTI