India will not budge on basic climate positions: Jairam Ramesh

India will not budge on basic climate positions: Jairam Ramesh

On his first day at the climate meet here, Ramesh also said India's national voluntary domestic measures to tackle global warming were not up for international scrutiny and progress on these would be checked by country's Parliament.
Ramesh told journalists here that his discussions were focused on the various drafts of potential treaty from the Working Groups on Kyoto, the African group and Alliance of Island States (AOSIS) that have been circulating at the climate meet here.
"In all these discussions I have had ... the basic objective was to highlight not only what India has done in recent weeks pro-actively, voluntarily but also to underscore the basic positions India will not compromise on even as it engages in constructive negotiations," he said.

While ruling out any dilution of previously-stated "red lines" drawn by India, the Minister also made it clear that it will not agree to the concept of "peaking" year as it will adversely impact the development of rural electricity in the country which is already facing a huge backlog in this area.

India has asserted that every individual has a right to an equal atmospheric space and feels the rich countries are trying to deny this to poorer populations of Asia and Africa.
It says there cannot be an international treaty which creates a group of haves and have-nots.

India wants to facilitate a legally-binding deal and "has come here to play a constructive, facilitative, leadership role to ensure and effective and equitable agreement," Ramesh said.
"But at the same time we will not agree to a concept of peaking year for India because we have huge backlog of development particularly in expanding rural electricity supply."
The draft prepared by the Danish government, also the chair for the UN climate negotiations here, contains a clause demanding that India and other emerging economies 'peak' their emissions by 2025, an issue on which India has strong reservations.

The minister highlighted that not only was India announcing voluntary target of reducing carbon intensity by 20 to 25 per cent from 2005 levels by 2020 it was also taking a "nationally accountable mitigation outcome," which means that implementation and progress on these domestic measures would be checked by Parliament, civil society and media.
"There is no place on Earth that has domestic MRV (Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification) as boisterous, intensive and aggressive as that in India," he said.

New Delhi has raised objections to a move it believes is intended to help rich countries get out of  their commitments on emission cuts as negotiators from 193 countries struggled to find common ground at climate talks here.
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 1997 Kyoto Protocol under which rich nations have to undertake legally-binding emission cuts.

The new draft follows the Danish proposal and BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) document.
The BASIC draft circulated at the start of the conference has been contested by the groups representing the Least Developed Countries and Small Island States on the ground that it did not reflect their special vulnerabilities to climate change.
India has 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.

Environment Secretary Vijay Sharma said the new proposals sought to "bracket" rich countries and emerging economies and weaken legal obligations of developed nations under Kyoto protocol.
Ramesh stressed that all action supported by international finance was subject to MRV but unsupported action was exclusively India's business.
The minister said that while India and China were coordinating very closely at Copenhagen, the two countries should not be compared in terms of emissions with China being number one and India being five. "We are not in the same boat," he said.

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