17-member team set to attend Lima climate talks

17-member team set to  attend Lima climate talks

The Prime Minister’s Office has approved a 17-member negotiation team for the UN Climate Summit at Lima in Peru, which will begin next Monday.

The team has officials from the ministries of environment and forest; external affairs; PMO; agriculture; power; earth sciences; commerce and new and renewable energy, says the approval letter, available with Deccan Herald.

In addition, there are five negotiators from outside the government including J M Mauskar, a retired bureaucrat, who was recently drafted into the Prime Minister’s council on climate change.

The negotiators will be joined later by Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar and his personal secretary, making it India’s biggest negotiation team so far, eclipsing the last year’s 15-member delegation including the minister for the Warsaw climate summit.

World leaders meet at Lima next week for discussing and resolving several knotty issues so that a global emission cut treaty is realised in the 2015 summit in Paris. The new emission reduction agreement would replace the Kyoto Protocol from the next decade.
There are five officials from the environment ministry including secretary Ashok Lavasa; additional secretary Susheel Kumar and joint secretary Ravi S Prasad besides two scientists S Satapathy and V R S Rawat.

Three former environment ministry officials — Mauskar, R R Rashmi and Jagdish Kishwan — who negotiated in the past are members of the team.

A bigger delegation is meant to ensure that India does not lose its development space because of the increasing pressure that would come on India in the wake of the US-China climate deal.

The US, which is the world’s biggest historical polluter and China, which is the biggest current polluter, announced a joint plan two weeks ago to reduce emissions. Under the deal, the US will reduce emissions by 26-28 per cent below the 2005 levels by 2025. The earlier target of the US was 17 per cent by 2020 levels.

China, on its part, will peak its carbon emissions by 2030 and then start reducing it. However, it has not announced any specific targets. The US said it would help China to “slow, peak and then reverse” its emissions. The deal was announced jointly by US President Barrack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing.

Following the US-China deal, neither Javadekar nor any other minister in the government said anything on what India's stand would be at Lima and eventually at Paris.

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