New Delhi, Dec 17 (UNI) DR R K Pachauri, Chairman of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which shared the nobel peace prize with former US Vice President Al Gore, today rubbished the criticism from some environmental groups that the Bali declaration on climate change was a non-starter.
''It is definitely a step forward, as the developed nations have been made to accept the need for deeper cuts in the emission of Green House Gases(GHGs) causing global warming,'' Dr Pachauri told UNI.
When poined out that the US and other rich countries had not committed to any quantity regarding emissions reductions, he said it would be unrealistic to expect the US to do that in just one meeting.
''Bali is just the beginning of negotiations for a treaty for cutting down emissions beyond 2012 when the existing Kyoto protocol expires, so to conclude that it was the end of the matter is not right,'' he said.
About the implications of the Bali outome for India and China, he said as per the differentiated responsiblity under the United Nations' Framework Convention for Climate Change, India too has to do something to cut emissions, while, of course, trying not to sacrifice its develpmental programmes.
''So I don't feel that it was something very undesirable that countries like India and China should also commit to some reductions in Kyoto's successor pact,' he added.
Climate change was something that would affect everyone, more especially the poor countries, and it does not matter who has been historically responsible for it, he addded.
So if Bali has invloved these countries in such efforts, its fine, he added.
''Moreover, all through two weeks of negotiations at Bali, the mood was very progressive, and everybody recognised the urgency of addressing climate change concerns, which was mainly the result of knowledge and awareness created by the IPCC about the nature and magnitude of the problem,'' he said.
The Kyoto Protocol mandates all industrial nations except the United States to cut emissions of greenhouse gases between 2008 and 2012, while exempting the developing countries.
However, new negotiations will seek to bind all countries to emission curbs. The US and Australia had stayed out of the existing Kyoto protocol, but the latter ratified the protocol on the even of Bali talks on December three.
On Saturday, over 190 nations at the Indonesian Island meeting approved a roadmap for two years of negotiations to arrive at a new treaty to succeed Kyoto beyond 2012 which would also be applicable to the US .
A successor pact will be agreed at a meeting in Copenhagen in late 2009.
The final text called on developed nations to consider ''quantified'' emissions cuts and developing countries to consider ''mitigation actions''.
The deal could be possible after the United States gave up its opposition to a proposal by the developing countries bloc, the G77, for rich nations to do more to help the developing world fight rising greenhouse emissions.
This, Dr Pachauri said was a good begining that would pave the way for a new pact in 2009.
Those countries who were opposing reference to any commitments under Kyoto's successor pact were completely isolated at the conference, he said.
The IPCC Report released this year had predicted that the climae change caused by global warming will have more disastrous consequences for poor nations as it would result in extreme weather, floods and droughts, and a rise in sea level due to melting of ice that would put at risk the livelihood of millions of coastal communities across the world.
According to the report, 1.2 degree rise in global temperaure was imminent because of the GHGs already emitted in the atmosphere.