Opposition attacks govt for stand on climate change

Opposition attacks govt for stand on climate change

New Delhi: A united opposition on Monday pilloried the government on its strategy for the Copenhagen climate summit, accusing it of buckling under US pressure and opening its card on the emission cuts announcements.

As about 193 countries began their ten-day meeting in the Danish capital for a global pact on climate change, the opposition charged the Government in the Rajya Sabha with “totally altering" its consistent position that the country has been following all along.

Environment minister Jairam Ramesh, who is leaving for Copenhagen on Thursday, denied the charges and said, “There is simply no compromise on India’s interest."

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Not satisfied, almost entire opposition including BJP, CPI-M, CPI, SP and AIADMK staged a walkout.

Leading the onslaught, Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley said making a unilateral announcement of emission intensity cuts of 20-25% ahead of the summit was a bad strategy.

“It is a bad strategy on the part of government. We have opened all our cards. Our disclosure has become a baseline for further negotiations. Even our negotiators appear to be sulking," Jaitley said.

Senior CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury said the “suspicion is that it is happening under pressure". He said this was evident from the White House statement of 4 December which said China and India have set a target to reduce carbon intensity.

Yechury, who will be part of the Parliamentary delegation to the summit, wondered whether Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s travel plans to Copenhagen was also under pressure.