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Copenhagen rerun, consensus at Cancun unlikely

New Delhi, 25 Nov: The Union minister for environment and forest, Mr Jairam Ramesh, today said any global consensus during the climate change summit in Cancun starting from 27 November is unlikely and the most viable option for India is to hold grounds as far as compromises are concerned. The minister was speaking at the media briefing organised by the Centre of Science and Environment on Climate Change.
“Given the fact that we (the countries) have continued differences over the issues and the fast track money is yet to flow in, the most optimistic way would be to have set of decisions for the next meet slated to be held in Durban, South Africa,” said Mr Ramesh.
He said that India has two agendas ~ establishing technical mechanism to fight climate change and stand on Measurable Reportable and Verifiable report (MRV) and international consultation and analysis (ICA) ~ on the table for Cancun.
Out of the $30 billion promised for the fast track fund by 2012, only $1.8 billion have trickled in. with the rowing financial crisis in the world and US economy yet to be revived, any objective contribution for the adaptation of vulnerable countries is not in sight. On the much-debated topic of MRV and ICA, the minister said that agreeing on preparing an inventory of GHGs emissions would be way to involve the USA. “It is for me a mechanism for internationalising domestic commitments made due to Copenhagen and to break the log jam while respecting national sovereignty,” Mr Ramesh said.
He also said that a set of guidelines has been suggested and they would be discussed during the summit, as unless the USA is brought into the mainstream, no progress is possible.
Calling the USA’s offer to cut emissions by 17 per cent, which they later said would be 14 per cent, “homeopathetic”, the minister said: “What we need is that USA takes up vastly revised targets not by 2050 but by 2020. India has been trying to find a middle ground and have partly been successful. Basic countries cannot go for absolute emission cuts and would go for relative cuts and that is something we cannot compromise with.”
The minister said that an Indo-Bangladesh Sunderbans ecosystem forum is likely to be operational by December this year. The forum would look into various issues such as tiger conservation, sea-erosion and livelihood. He also announced a trilateral initiative by India, China and Nepal on Mount Kailash and setting up a forestry institute in Thimpu, Bhutan.

Soma Basu

Soma Basu

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