US, BASIC nations reach agreement

US, BASIC nations reach agreement

US, BASIC nations reach agreement

US President Barack Obama makes a statement at the United Nations Climate Change Conference at the Bella Center in Copenhagen, Denmark on Friday. AP

Hours after high drama at the landmark climate summit here, US and BASIC countries -- Brazil, South Africa, India and China -- reached a legally non-binding with transparency in emission cuts, mitigation targets and finance forming the basis of the common approach.

"Today we've made meaningful and unprecedented -- made a meaningful and unprecedented breakthrough here," Obama told reporters here after a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and leaders of China, Brazil and South Africa.

"For the first time in history all major economies have come together to accept their responsibility to take action to confront the threat of climate change," he said.
The deal was struck after Singh and Obama delayed their departure by several hours to arrive at a consensus on the issue of combating climate change.

However, the deal has to be approved by the plenary of the climate summit, which is being attened by 193 countries. Sudan, which currently heads the group of 77 developing nations, described the deal as "extremely flawed."

Lumumba Di-Aping, the Sudanese ambassador who chairs the bloc of developing countries, said: "They (BASIC countries) have made a decision that will cost their people a lot."

Lumumba said: "A gross violation has been committed today against the poor, against the tradition of transparency and participation of equal footing for all parties of the convention and against common sense."

Tuvalu and Venezuela also said they do not accept the deal which was struck by US and other emerging economies.

The US President said he and BASIC countries agreed to set a mitigation target to limit warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius, and importantly, to take action to meet this objective consistent with science.

Briefing Indian journalists about the outcome, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said the BASIC countries and the US have reached at a "satisfactory solution."
"The important point is that it is a collective decision by the BASIC countries and we are satisfied with the outcome. Both the Prime Ministers (of India and China) and Presidents (of Brazil and South Africa) were satisfied," he said.

He also said the countries were waiting for deal to be discussed at the plenary.
Things began to turn around when US President Barack Obama came into the room where the BASIC countries were holding a meeting. They discussed all the contentious issues between the emerging economies and the developed world.

Obama accompanied by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton helped in ironing out the drafting of many of the contentious clauses of the Copenhagen Accord.

Echoing Ramesh's views, UN climate chief Yvo de Boer said it is yet to be seen how the text will be received by other countries.

"I think we need to see how the text is received by the broader group of countries. It is great that a small group of leaders get together and tries to advance the process but ultimately the way things work here it has to acceptable to everyone," he said.

The agreement between the US and BASIC countries requires industrial countries to list their individual targets and developing countries to list the actions they will take to cut global warming pollution by specific amounts.

Obama noted that he worked throughout the day with Prime Ministers of Ethiopia, China and India and Presidents of Brazil and South Africa "to achieve what I believe will be an important milestone."

He said taken together these actions will help us begin to meet our responsibilities to "leave our children and our grandchildren a cleaner and safer planet."

"Now, this progress did not come easily, and we know that this progress alone is not enough. Going forward, we're going to have to build on the momentum that we've established here in Copenhagen to ensure that international action to significantly reduce emissions is sustained and sufficient over time," the US President said.
"We've come a long way, but we have much further to go," he said.

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