'Limited progress' at climate meet

India wants de-linking trade from climate

In Bonn, Indian negotiators suggested a clause in the final text de-linking trade from climate change. Many fear that such a linkage may soon be established as a non-tariff barrier to pressurise the developing countries.  

“Only limited progress was made at this meeting,” Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the UN Climate Change Secretariat, said on Friday. With barely any forward movement in Bonn, nations have only about 15 days in the remaining four months to complete a final draft of an emission cap treaty acceptable to both developing and developed block.

The negotiations need to considerably pick up speed for the world to achieve a successful result in Copenhagen, Boer said. Nations are discussing a 120- page draft text, which should pave the way for a final document for Copenhagen in December.
The Copenhagen document is a follow on the first phase of the Kyoto Protocol, which expires at the end of 2012. The next two negotiations will be in Bangkok on September and Barcelona on November before the Copenhagen summit begins in December.

There is also a key meeting of world leaders in New York in September, which will also add to the negotiation process. But barely any major progress has been made so far with developed and developing blocks unable to see any common ground.

India and China are leading the pack of developing nations arguing since global warming was triggered by western industrial revolution, developed countries should commit for a steeper emission cut and the developing nations should be left out of emission caps as their primary goal is poverty alleviation. 

India stuck to its proposal of 40 per cent emission cut by the developed nations by 2020 from the 1990 level.

Boer said industrialised countries need to show a greater level of ambition in agreeing to meaningful mid-term emission reduction targets. “The present level of ambition can be raised domestically,” he said.

India opposed developed nations’ move to link a Major Economies Forum declaration on not letting the earth’s temperature increase by more than two degrees Celsius by 2050, with the UN climate change negotiations. India is a party to the declaration.
After India signed the MEF declaration on the eve of the L’Aquila G8 meeting, some observers were wary of the MEF declaration.

They apprehended rich nations will use the declaration to force an emission cap on India. Any emission cap strains the economy and adversely impacts GDP growth.

Over the last two months, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, environment minister Jairam Ramesh and PM’s special envoy Shyam Saran pointed out that the MEF declaration will not matter in the UN climate change negotiations.

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