India gets its way as UN climate summit ends in Durban

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by nrj, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    DURBAN: An impassioned speech by Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan capped the finale of the UN climate summit that ended here early Sunday with a Durban Package, after she warned that India "will never be intimidated by any threat or pressure".

    Natarajan's speech ensured that India's main concern - the inclusion of the concept of equity in the fight against climate change - became part of the package.

    According to the Durban Package, countries have agreed to work towards a new regime that ensures all countries take legal emissions cuts. The countries also committed to a second term of Kyoto Protocol - the existing regime.

    Natarajan ensured there was a third option -- "an agreed outcome with legal force" -- apart from protocol or a legal instrument.

    The plenary session of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change summit came to a halt following row between Natarajan and European Union (EU) Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard after objection over agreements reached behind closed doors.

    The conference ended a day and a half behind schedule because of intense negotiations over contentious issues.

    India had wanted a "legal outcome" as the third option, but Hedegaard said this would put countries' sincerity in doubt.

    That set off Natarajan, who roared: "We have shown more flexibility than virtually any other country. But equity is the centrepiece, it cannot be shifted. This is not about India.

    "Does fighting climate change mean we have to give up on equity? We have agreed to protocol and legal instrument. What's the problem in having one more option?

    "India will never be intimidated by any threat or any kind of pressure. What's this legal instrument? How do I give a blank cheque?, she said.

    As Natarajan finished her speech amid a thunderous ovation from a hall packed with thousands of delegates from 194 governments, observers and the media, some countries backed the EU but China strongly supported India.

    Xie Zhenhua, the vice minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, pointed out that the developing countries like India and China were "already doing much more than developed countries" against global warming.

    Then some countries supported India and China, while others still supported EU.

    Conference president and South Africa's Foreign Minister Maite Nkoane Mashabane then halted the session and asked EU and India to go into a huddle there and then.

    Unprecedented scenes followed beyond midnight as negotiators from all countries mobbed Natarajan and Hedegaard and snapped photographs, with no sign of exhaustion even at 2 in the morning.

    US and Chinese chief negotiators joined the huddle too. More frenzied applause indicated an agreement had finally been reached.

    When the session reconvened, Natarajan announced that India had agreed to a change of wording in the third option "in a spirit of flexibility and accommodation". Hedegaard thanked India.

    Under the four-pronged Durban Package, rich nations have now agreed to reduce their GHG emissions from 2013 under the Kyoto Protocol, a key demand of developing countries.

    The end date of that commitment period has not been fixed, though. Negotiators will now have to choose between 2017 and 2020.

    India gets its way as UN climate summit ends in Durban - The Economic Times
     
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  3. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Isolated India and China reluctantly agreed to the outcome

    The Durban climate agreement has buried India's reluctance to take emission cuts and has got three years to decide how much carbon emissions reductions it would be willing to take after 2020.

    India has agreed to reduce its emission intensity by 20-25 % of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2020 in business to usual scenario and Durban platform, the term of the agreement, is a step forward. The impact of emission cuts on India's economic and how it makes life costlier for an average citizen will be an issue of debate in the coming years.

    The new emission reduction regime will be decided on basis of equity, which could mean much lower emission reduction for India as compared to China, whose per capita global warming causing carbon release is almost double of India's.

    "It is clear from this conference that the fight to reduce emissions effectively in an unequal world will be even more difficult in the years to come. But it is a conference, which has put the issue of equity back into the negotiations. It is for this reason an important move ahead," said Sunita Narain, Director General of NGO Centre for Science and Environment.

    But, the next three years -- till 2015 -- are crucial as during this period country wise emission reductions will be decided based on review of the pledges of the rich nations, voluntary mitigation action of the developing world and of fifth assessment report of UN's scientific body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

    The Durban platform fits well for rich nations have been demanding ---- common but differentiated responsibility with respective capabilities, enshrined in the United Nations climate convention. The European media has hailed the conference outcome as major victory for European Union, which on Monday had proposed a timeline based roadmap to operationalise binding climate treaty by 2020.

    India and China were able to get long term finance to adapt to climate change, transfer and development of clean technologies in Durban outcome but failed to get a legally forceable treaty beyond 2020. The United States came on board as transparency of climate actions and it has emission reductions for all countries was included.

    India, China and United States were under immense pressure to accept the European Union roadmap as the poor nations including Bangladesh and Maldives backed the roadmap. There was also division in the biggest group of 132 nations in the UN climate conference of G-77 plus China with African island and least developed nations supporting the EU proposal.

    The outcome means that India has abandoned its stand of not agreeing to emission cuts till its per capita emissions rise above average per capita emissions of the developed world. As per modelling studies, India's per capita emissions will be less than that of rich nations even in 2030.

    The found of the new approach will be laid dow in the 12th five-year plan, which would start from the next financial year.

    Isolated India and China reluctantly agreed to the outcome - Hindustan Times
     
  4. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    is us part of certain newspaper reported that US had backed of
     
  5. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    India dampens Europe's hopes of a new climate change agreement

    India being painted the villain of the piece but I think our minister Natrajan had some strong points there.

    India dampens Europe's hopes of a new climate change agreement | Environment | guardian.co.uk

    India last night rejected a European roadmap to a new single, legally-binding agreement to revive the stuttering UN climate talks.

    Using robust diplomatic language, environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan challenged rich countries to ratify a second commitment period of the Kyoto protocol (KP), and pay what they had promised to developing countries before trying to negotiate a new deal.

    The comments came ahead of a meeting between Europe, the Basic countries - India, China, Brazil and South Africa - and the US to try to win support for the EU's proposal to try to negotiate a new legally binding treaty by 2015 that would take effect in 2020.

    China has been ambiguous on whether it will support the EU, while Brazil said it was still in discussions. South Africa's president referred to the roadmap in his speech but did not commit to it.

    The group of four powerful "Basic" countries put pressure on Europe by claiming that developing countries had pledged to cut more emissions than the rich and the onus should now be on them to make deeper cuts.

    "It is time that the developed countries stepped up to fulfil their part of the [legal] commitment under Kyoto. There is an ambition gap because Kyoto partners have not fulfilled their political obligations," said Natarajan.

    In a clear reference to Canada, Russia and Japan, she said: "There are more countries in the wings preparing to announce their intention to forsake their international obligation."

    Natarajan's defence of Kyoto was backed by China. "A second commitment period is a must. Kyoto should be continued. Developed countries should honour their commitments," said Xie Zhenhua, head of Chinese delegation at Durban.

    India's continued hostility to the EU proposal was underlined when Natarajan suggested the EU's proposal was unclear. "I have come to Durban with an open mind. But I would like to know whether [the proposal] would be binding only for mitigation and whether it will be same for Annex-1 [industrialised] and non-Annex1 [developing] countries. Commitment for finance and technology, whether it will be present or not, how will equity figure in such an agreement, how will [intellectual property rights] be handled."

    But the EU challenged India to outline an alternative that would harness the emissions of leading economies. Isaac Valero Ladron, spokesman for the EU environment commissioner Connie Hedegaard, said: "Will India take on the responsibility of being a major economy, to give a clear political signal that it will commit in the future? This is the question that should be answered in Durban. If they say no to the roadmap, what are they going to do? What is the alternative they are positing? Major emitters, developed and developing, should say here in Durban when they will be ready for a legally binding agreement."

    To bolster its argument that rich countries must do more, India referred to a recent study by the Stockholm Environment Institute of the pledges made last year in Cancún by all countries. It shows that developing countries are pledging 30%-50% more cuts than the rich, and that the rich may be able to avoid taking any action whatever to meet their pledges by taking advantage of accounting loopholes.

    Sivan Kartha and Peter Erickson of the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) said: "Developing countries pledges amount to more absolute mitigation than all developed countries. Unless accounting rules for Annex 1 countries are made more stringent, then Annex 1 countries will be able to formally comply with their pledges with very little actual mitigation and possibly none at all."

    Kartha and Erikson reviewed four recent detailed studies of countries' mitigation pledges under the Cancún agreements and concluded that these would lead to a 3-5C rise. They conclude that under both high and low growth conditions, and with both lax and lenient rules, developing countries had so far pledged to cut much more than rich countries.

    The figures are significant because they undermine the EU's insistence that a new legally binding agreement is needed to get developing countries to cut emissions further.

    But Hedegaard suggested that China was still not pledging enough to meet the conditions under which the EU would agree to sign up to a second commitment period of the Kyoto protocol.

    "I still believe that China holds one of the central keys to unlock the situation. The EU is willing to take a second Kyoto period, but the central issue remain how China will follow us and when. Here more clarifications and further dialogue are needed."

    Major developed countries also suggested reports that the Chinese had swung in favour of a new legally binding deal were wrong.

    "China has always said it is in favour of a legally binding deal – that binds developed countries to make emissions cuts. It is certainly not clear that they are now saying they will take on international legally binding targets on the same basis [as developed countries], which is what we're talking about here," said one participant who could not be named.

    Todd Stern, the US special envoy for climate change, cast doubt on whether China was showing greater flexibility in its position, as the UK had suggested. Fresh from a meeting with the Chinese minister Xie Zhenhua, he told a press conference: "It's not my impression that there has been a change at all in respect to a legally binding agreement. I did not understand [from] Mr Xie that there was any change."

    The Greenpeace UK chief policy adviser, Ruth Davis, said: "The EU needs to stand firm and refuse to back down on its demand that we get a legal deal in 2015, but it will need the help of the hosts South Africa. That's what the vast majority of countries here want to see happen."
     
  6. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    India 'won't sign binding emissions pact': minister

    NEW DELHI — India said Tuesday it would reject any global pact legally binding it to cut greenhouse gas emissions as such a move could stifle economic growth needed to eradicate poverty.
    Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan's statement came after a UN conference in Durban earlier this month agreed for the first time to seek to negotiate a legally enforceable agreement to control all nations' emissions.

    "There is no question of signing a legally binding agreement at this point of our development. We need to make sure that our development does not suffer," Natarajan told the upper house of parliament.
    "Our emissions are bound to grow as we have to ensure our social and economic development and fulfil the imperative of poverty eradication," the minister added.

    Some 42 percent of Indians, or 455 million people, live on less than $1.25 a day, according to the World Bank.
    The marathon UN climate conference in Durban approved a roadmap towards an accord that for the first time would bring all major greenhouse-gas emitters blamed for climate change under a single legal roof.

    If approved as scheduled in 2015, the pact will be operational from 2020 and become the prime weapon in the fight against climate change.
    But emerging Asian giants India and China, which have become huge emitters of carbon over the last half-dozen years, have long resisted calls to reduce emissions.

    The fast-growing economies said the burden of cuts should be on developed countries and that they cannot commit to binding targets which might hurt their ability to improve living standards.
    India and China do not fall under existing 1997 Kyoto Protocol constraints aimed at fighting global warming as they are developing countries.

    AFP: India 'won't sign binding emissions pact': minister
     
  7. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Natarajan was a nut even when she was the spokesman for the Congress.

    All hype!
     
  8. Bhartiya

    Bhartiya Tihar Jail Banned

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    She did the right thing, kudos to her... why should we pay of we haven't even contributed much to the global warming problem??
     

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