New Delhi: India is among four major developing countries that decided to walk out of climate negotiations if they are asked to “peak” their emissions any time soon. This is just one of the non-negotiable elements of any climate deal that might be struck at the Copenhagen meeting that India, China, South Africa and Brazil agreed on at a meeting in Beijing on Saturday.
“We are definitely more optimistic now that the four countries have agreed on the ‘red lines’ for the conference,” said a senior official at the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF), who didn’t want to be named as he’s not authorized to speak to the media. He said this level of consensus was missing at the last major climate meet at Bali in 2007.
Peaking years are the limit beyond which countries have to pledge that global warming gas emissions will not rise.
The four countries have also said that any demand from industrialized nations for emission cut commitments from developing countries and for scrutiny of domestic plans which have not been supported financially and through technology from the West will be strongly resisted. India said earlier it is willing to put only those actions that have been supported by developed countries under global scrutiny.
Jairam Ramesh, minister of state, MoEF, who was in Beijing for the meeting, said any exit from negotiations will be collective and coordinated if there is a breach of any of the non-negotiable points.
Doubts that India is shifting its stance on climate change have been allayed by the joint declaration. The meeting was held after China announced it would unilaterally and voluntarily cut its carbon intensity per unit of GDP (gross domestic product) by 40-45% by 2020, below 2005 levels.
The four countries are currently working on a draft paper that they will float in pre-Copenhagen informal consultations to be held in Denmark on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“The draft takes into consideration the needs of all the four countries and is common to all four. China will present the paper at the meeting,” said the official. Denmark is also expected to float its own negotiation draft at the Tuesday meeting. The drafts will go into further negotiations in Copenhagen from 7 December.