India toughens stand on climate, walks out along with China

India toughens stand on climate, walks out along with China

Copenhagen: Toughening its stand on climate change, India along with China and two other countries on Monday briefly walked out of negotiations, apparently unhappy over developed nations reneging on their commitments under the Kyoto protocol to undertake emission cuts.

Environment minister Jairam Ramesh, who is leading the Indian delegation, along with his counterparts from China, Brazil and South Africa walked out of the negotiations to meet Connie Hedegaard, the Danish President of the COP, and convey their protest.

All formal meetings at the Summit here were put on hold following the development.

Though there was no official word on what led the leaders to stage a walkout from the ministerial-level talks, sources said the development followed a disagreement between the developing countries and the developed nations on the second commitment period after 2012.

It is understood that the four countries also protested that enough focus was not being given to the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol that puts obligations on developed nations to undertake emission cuts.

After a 35-minute meeting with Hedegaard, the ministers emerged out, with Ramesh indicating that the issue had been resolved.

Asked if the issue had been resolved, Ramesh said: “I think so...I am heading to the plenary now".

The development came hours after India said it has prepared an integrated document emphasizing on “equitable access" to atmospheric space for all in close co-ordination with China and several countries including from Africa.

Ramesh said the integrated draft of a potential treaty prepared by the BASIC countries (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) has been merged with another text prepared by the Africa group within the G-77.

“We have merged the Africa draft and the BASIC draft. We now have a common Africa-Basic draft but we are not unveiling it now," he told PTI.

Ramesh also made it clear that India will not compromise on its three key principles - no legally binding emission cuts, no peaking year and no international review of domestic-funded mitigation actions.

“India will not compromise on its teen-murti." he said adding that the outcome of the talks must be within the UN Framework on Climate Change, stick to the Kyoto Protocol and abide by the Bali Action Plan.

“Some countries think that we are going to do a new convention. Some countries think we’re going to do a new protocol. So we made it absolutely clear that India is here not to renegotiate the three murti," the minister said.

“I have made it absolutely clear that we’re not here to negotiate a new agreement, we have not come here to negotiate a new protocol," he said.