US, Japan seek new deal, India objects

US, Japan seek new deal, India objects

New Delhi: The US and Japan have asked for the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 to be scrapped and a new agreement to take its place at the Major Economies Forum (MEF) being held in Washington.

India has objected to this proposal, saying it does not conform with the elements of equity and historic responsibility set in the Bali Action Plan and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

“We have questioned how (the) second phase of the Kyoto Protocol that is already being discussed under the UN works out," an Indian delegate said from Washington, asking not to be identified. “India and other developing nations have asked for a 40% cut in emissions below 1990 levels by 2020 in those talks."

India reiterated its demand that the four pillars of the Bali Action Plan—mitigation action, adaptation to climate change, finance and technology transfer—be discussed together and not just mitigation.

MEF is a grouping of 17 countries outside the United Nations forum to help global talks on climate change. In July, the 17 members signed a declaration in Italy that they would strive to restrict increase in average global temperature to 2 degrees Celsius.

When India opposed trade tariffs on the basis of climate change, John Kerry, head of the US senate’s foreign relations committee, told the Indian delegation that sanctions against “renegade countries" are possible.

On mitigation, the US backed Australia’s proposal for a climate deal, which it submitted at UNFCCC in June.

The Australian proposal suggests a clear global trajectory where the sum of all economies’ commitments is consistent with the goal of restricting carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere to 450 parts per million (ppm)—consistent with the less then 2 degrees Celsius goal of MEF—or lower, and with a nominated early deadline year for peak global emissions no later than 2020.

Peaking means all countries would have to reach maximum permissible emissions proportional to their growth by 2020.

The proposal also asks for “major developing economy commitments to slow growth and then reduce their absolute level of emissions over time, with a collective reduction of at least 20% below business-as-usual by 2020".

India has strongly resisted nominating a peaking year for growth as well as mandatory emission reduction commitments, which would affect the pace of its growth.

India this week agreed to take unilateral, domestic action on account of emission cuts, but said this would not have an impact on its international stand on climate talks.

The next session of climate change talks under UNFCCC starts in Bangkok on 27 September.