PM favours keeping the flame alive irrespective of climate summit's outcome

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Copenhagen, Dec.18 (ANI): Despite expressing skepticism over the possibility of actual success of the Copenhagen climate summit, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said it could still be evolved into an important milestone.

"We have all worked hard to reconcile our different points of view. The outcome may well fall short of expectations. Nevertheless, it can become a significant milestone. I therefore support calls for subsequent negotiations towards building a truly global and genuinely collaborative response to climate change being concluded during 2010," said Manmohan Singh in his address at the informal plenary of Head of States/Governments at the 15th Conference of the Parties (CoP) at Copenhagen.

Dr Singh said "As we embark on future negotiations, we would do well to take stock of what we have learnt from our efforts over the past two years."

Mentioning about the three lessons he could draw from efforts over the past two years which should guide all nations in the task ahead, Dr. Singh said: "Firstly, the vast majority of countries do not support any renegotiation or dilution of the principles and provisions of the UNFCCC, in particular the principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities."

"Further, the need for action on our part is more and not less than what was envisaged at the time of the Rio Convention or the Kyoto Protocol. That is why the Bali Action Plan commits us to enhancing the implementation of the UNFCCC," said Dr. Singh while adding that to settle for something that would be seen as diminished expectations and diminished implementation would be the wrong message to emerge from this conference. "We should therefore reaffirm categorically that our negotiations will continue on the basis of the Bali mandate."

"The Kyoto Protocol should continue to stand as a valid legal instrument," said Dr. Singh as the second lesson and added that parties to the Protocol should deliver on their solemn commitments under the Protocol.

"It would go against international public opinion if we acquiesce in its replacement by a new and weaker set of commitments," Dr. Singh remarked.

Dr. Singh said that it was clear that any agreement on climate change should respect the need for development and growth in developing countries.

"Equitable burden sharing should underlie any effective global climate change regime. Any new regime will have moral authority and credibility only if it acknowledges that every citizen of the globe has an equal entitlement to the global atmospheric space," Dr. Singh mentioned as the third lesson. By Ashok Dixit (ANI)

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