BASIC, Africa ready with joint draft on climate change: Ramesh

BASIC, Africa ready with joint draft on climate change: Ramesh


A demonstrator stands with a sign board outside the Climate Change Conference hall in Copenhagen. Reuters

The integrated draft of a potential treaty prepared by the BASIC countries (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) has been merged with another text prepared by the Africa group within the G77, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said.

"We have merged the Africa draft and the BASIC draft. We now have a common Africa-Basic draft but we are not unveiling it now," he said.

Ahead of the ministerial-level meeting, Ramesh said that India would not compromise on its three key principles -- no legally binding emission cuts, no peaking year and no international review of domestic-funded mitigation actions.

"India will not compromise on its 'teen-murti'," he said adding that the outcome of the talks must be within the UN Framework on Climate Change, stick to the Kyoto Protocol and abide by the Bali Action Plan.

"Some countries think that we are going to do a new convention. Some countries think we're going to do a new protocol. So we made it absolutely clear that India is here not to renegotiate the three murthi," the minister said.

"I have made it absolutely clear that we're not here to negotiate a new agreement, we have not come here to negotiate a new protocol," he said.

Instead, Ramesh said that India as well as other emerging developing nations had divergent views with the Small Island States but India was pushing hard to play a "facilitative" role and bring all parts of the G77 together including the African group and AOSIS.

He admitted that India and other emerging economies' stand was different from the 43 countries in the AOSIS.

"We have to deal with them because they have a different point of view. I have been at pains to stress we do not want confrontation we want compromise and consensus," he said.

Ramesh noted that India and China were in "very close coordination" with several meetings between himself and Chinese Minister Xie Zhenhua in the past two days.
"We meet very frequently. We are coordinating our position. India's constructive role has come in for considerable mention. We're not being confronted. We are trying to get all parties together," Ramesh said indicating he met his counterparts from Brazil and South Africa.

Ramesh said that based on his discussions so far, it appeared that if Copenhagen failed to deliver "what NGOs are calling FAB (Fair, Ambitious and Binding)" it would not be because of "India or the developing countries but because of differences between the developed world".

"There are differences between the EU and America," he said, noting that the European and Japanese don’t want to take on legal commitments unless the Americans also commit more but the US has made it clear that they will not join into any instrument that evenly remotely resembles the Kyoto Protocol.

Ramesh noted that India and China were in "very close coordination" with several meetings between himself and Chinese Minister Xie Zhenhua in the past two days.

"We meet very frequently. We are coordinating our position. India's constructive role has come in for considerable mention and place. We're not being confrontation. We are trying to get all parties together," Ramesh said indicating he met his counterparts from Brazil and South Africa.

Ramesh said that based on his discussions so far, it appeared that if Copenhagen summit failed to deliver "what NGOs are calling FAB (Fair, Ambitious and Binding)" it would not be because of "India or the developing countries but because of differences between the developed world".

"There are differences between the EU and America," he said, noting that the European and Japanese don't want to take on legal commitments unless the Americans also commit more but the US has made it clear that they will not join into any instrument that evenly remotely resembles the Kyoto Protocol.

"The basics issue is credibility of the commitments that the developed world has not been able to fulfill and they cannot hold India and China as excuses for non fulfillment," he added, pointing out that the developed countries had not kept their commitments to peak by 2020.

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