EU blames India for holding up climate deal in Durban

EU blames India for holding up climate deal in Durban

EU climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard said there are two sticking points with India -- the future of the legal form of the agreement and the timeframe in which countries should take the emission cut.

The EU has proposed a "roadmap" for countries to agree to a single legally binding framework by 2015.

She said of the BASIC quartet (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) have agreed to the EU's proposal while China has shown some flexibility but India is maintaining a "relatively tough stand".

"As of today, the agreement is within reach on the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol -- the only existing legal regime -- roadmap for negotiations and the future regime that would be global and legally binding," Hedegaard said.

She said EU's roadmap has been accepted by the majority of countries -- small island states, least developed countries and the African Union. "But the success and failure of Durban remains on some countries who are not committed to the roadmap, so we have to get them on board," she said.

Explaining the sticking points with India, Hedegaard said: "India wants to continue two tracks -- legal versus voluntary -- while more and more countries have realised that we should not for all eternity keep two tracks."

"Of course, we should not all commit the same but we have to find a formula that recognise the reality of 21st century. The second point is about the timeline -- when should the legal agreement enter into force," she said.

Indian Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan turned down the EU's allegation, saying she is here with an open mind as long as issues raised by the country are addressed.

"I had a meeting with the BASIC this morning and our stand has been the same. I have come here with an open mind but we want to know the content of the legally binding (agreement). We want to know if they are going to give us a ratifiable Kyoto in return," she told IANS.

She said our demands have been "extremely reasonable" and "we want to know" how common but differentiated responsibility, equity, intellectual property rights and trade measures will figure in the treaty.

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