India sees ploy to bail out rich nations from emission cuts


Opening a new front, small island nations floated their own draft which is seen by India as an attempt to bracket developed and developing nations together by junking the Kyoto Protocol under which rich nations have to undertake legally-binding emission cuts. Led by Tuvalu, the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) circulated a draft — ‘Copenhagen Protocol’ —  that calls for amendments to the Kyoto Protocol.

“Today we have put forward a proposal for a legally binding deal to secure the twin objectives of survival of Kyoto to strengthen the UNFCCC with a new ‘Copenhagen Protocol’ that can be adopted here,” said Ambassador of Grenada, Dessima Williams.
The new draft follows the Danish proposal and BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) document.

Unhappy with the AOSIS move, India said it will not accept any changes or extension to the Kyoto Protocol, which is the only legally-binding document that imposes emission reduction targets on industrialised countries, excluding US.

India’s Environment Secretary Vijay Sharma said the new proposals amounted to “bracket” together rich countries and emerging economies and weaken legal obligations of developed nations under Kyoto protocol. “We believe our proposal provides a fresh way of looking at how existing proposals from many different countries can be assembled into a coherent legal form while maintaining the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol and the primacy of the UNFCCC,” Ambassador of Cape Verde, Antonio Lima, said.

India views the small nations’ move as a strategy of the European Union to weaken the Kyoto Protocol and get out of the commitments made in the document. “We want the standing of the Kyoto Protocol to be maintained,” Sharma told reporters here. “We are looking to making the roots of the Kyoto Protocol stronger and go deeper into emission cuts for the developed countries.”

“Many of these proposals are bracketing the Annex 1 (countries mentioned under the Protocol that should take cuts) and non-Annex 1 countries and may be allowing Annex 1 to abandon Kyoto,” Sharma said.

Tuvalu also asked India and China to take emission cuts like other developed countries.

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