Ramesh lauded for Cancun effort

Merkel says the minister bridged gaps on key issues

After her talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Berlin, Merkel said: “Indian minister Ramesh has made important contributions at the Cancun conference.”

The two-week long conference closed on Friday with a “Cancun Agreement” to curb global warming, including a  $100 billion fund to help developing countries. The agreement marked some progress for finance, technology, adaptation and transparency, but isn’t viewed as a decisive boost for combating climate change.

“The minister (Ramesh) has been instrumental in bridging gaps,” Mohamed Aslam, the environment minister of Maldives, said. “He has been reaching out to the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) nations as well as to developed countries,” he said.

The AOSIS, which are most vulnerable to climate change want developed countries as well as emerging economies, especially China and India, to take on hefty legally binding emission cuts.

The UN climate conference on early hours of Saturday reached a “compromise” to set up a $ 100 billion ‘Green Fund’ to fight global warming, a decision India described as an “important step forward”, but there was no agreement on extending the landmark Kyoto Protocol on emissions cuts beyond 2012.

“We are very happy with the text,” Ramesh earlier said, noting that the major emerging economies — Brazil, South Africa, India and China— had welcomed the decision.
“Cancun represents an important step forward,” he said.

Progress at the conference includes a broad agreement on technology-sharing mechanism that will ensure that poor and vulnerable countries are able to access green technologies easily and in a cost-effective manner.

The nitty-gritty of the technology and finance mechanism still needs to be worked out. Bolivia was the sole country to oppose the decision in Cancun, but was eventually overruled.

According to Ramesh, many of India’s contributions had been incorporated in the text, including the International Consultation and Analysis, which is a transparency mechanism to review whether developing countries are carrying out their domestic mitigation actions.  

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