India for legally binding pact from developed world


Stressing the importance of a treaty at Copenhagen, Prime Minister’s Climate Change envoy Shyam Saran said it was too early to “preempt that the negotiations would fail to produce legally binding commitments and governments would have to settle for a political agreement.”

India decided to cut down its carbon emission intensity by 20-25 per cent by 2020 in the run-up to the Copenhagen summit, shortly after a similar declaration by China.
Asked if the recent announcement on emission reduction indicated flexibility in India’s position Saran said: “We are not required by the convention to do this but we are doing this in order to facilitate and promote a successful outcome.”
Saran highlighted the need to work towards “an agreed outcome” as was mandated by the Bali action plan, and only if the countries failed to arrive at a “substantive outcome” on those lines then “we can take a call on the outcome that we now aim for. But to say that we should only aim for a politically binding document does not really mean very much to us because politically binding means that commitments that are taken will not be enforceable,” the top Indian Climate Change official noted. “What we would be looking for are enforceable commitments,” he said.
Saran stressed that in India a legally binding commitment from developed nations would carry more weight than a politically binding one. “We must not preempt the results of these negotiations,” he said.

“As far as India is concerned and also other members of the G77 and China we have argued that we have a week of negotiating time left before the high-level segment. “Before the Heads of state/government arrive for the High Level Meet before December16th the two ad hoc working groups – the Ad Hoc Working group on the Long Term Cooperative Action under the Bali Action Plan and the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Kyoto Protocol will be continuing their work from where the negotiations left off in Barcelona.

At the same time, a second track of negotiations are being conducted for the extension of the Kyoto Protocol into its second commitment period following the end of the first commitment period on December 31, 2012, under which industrialised nations are obligated to legally binding carbon emission cuts.

When asked that in the last-minute momentum of getting a deal done India would be forced to sign a broad political agreement that may be against some its positions on climate change, Saran emphasised that New Delhi would not get hustled.
He also highlighted that India would not be “isolated” since it was working with a large group of G77 and China.

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