Jairam Ramesh makes statement in RS on climate accord at Copenhagen

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New Delhi, Dec.22 (ANI): Union Minister for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday said that the climate change accord presented in Copenhagen was not legally binding.

The agreement between U.S and BASIC countries in Copenhagen has been described as an Accord, which is a "non-legally binding agreement" and was arrived at during time for curbing climate change.

Previously, during the Heads of State meet both India and China objected to certain alleged insertion of clauses into the proposed draft.

While addressing the Rajya Sabha in Parliament, Environment Minister Ramesh said that the Accord was not adopted as an outcome of the conference.

"Since the conference works on the principle of consensus, the Copenhagen Accord was not adopted as an outcome of the conference. It was, however, taken note of. The contents of the Accord are not legally binding, nor do they constitute a mandate for a new negotiating process under the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change)," said Jairam Ramesh.

Jairam emphasised the Accord obliges developed countries to limit the global temperature rise by 2050 to below 2 degrees Celsius. India also insisted and was successful in ensuring that the yardstick for any kind of mitigation should be temperature change and not emission cuts.

"The Accord recognizes the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respected capabilities of parties in combating climate change. The Accord recognizes the need to limit the global temperature rise by 2050 to below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. While doing so, the Accord clearly sets out the goal in the context of equity and sustainable development. This ensures that in achieving this goal, the right of developing countries like India to have an equitable share in access to global atmospheric resources, cannot be ignored and is actually ensured," said Jairam Ramesh.

Many nations said the deal fell far short of UN ambitions for Copenhagen, which was meant to be a turning point to push the world economy towards renewable energies, such as hydro, solar and wind power, and away from fossil fuels.

The deal has set a deadline at the end of January 2010 for all nations to submit plans for curbs on emissions to the United Nations.

Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday expressed dissatisfaction over climate accord saying it was not in India's interests. It says the documents clearly betrayed the developing nations, and the interests of the country had not been protected.

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said, "The accord says one thing, the government understands another."

"The developing countries have been betrayed in the name of the Copenhagen Summit, and the accord helps the developed countries to avoid the commitments they made under the Kyoto Protocol, added Jaitley.

Lashing out at the government, Jaitley said: " The problem with the government is that it is suffering from the Sharma-el-Sheikh syndrome."

Prior to Jaitley's comments, Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh put forward the point that the sovereignty of the country has been well placed and tabled the strategies of the Central Government post-Copenhagen.

He said the Copenhagen accord protects India's interests.

Ramesh said: " The Copenhagen Accord was not adopted, it was taken care of," and added: Copenhagen accord is not legally binding."

The United States and four major developing countries India, China, South Africa and Brazil reached a legally non-binding agreement on cutting greenhouse gas emissions and restricting the increase in temperature to two degree Celsius.

Ramesh added that Copenhagen conference decided to continue negotiations under the mandate of Kyoto Protocol and Bali Action Plan to be completed at the end of 2010.

Ramesh said the report of mitigation actions, supported or unsupported, will be made to the Secretariat of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) through the National Communications that will be made every two years.

On Monday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh talked about the Copenhagen developments at his office in Parliament.

Developing countries wanted 30-35 percentage emission cuts from the developed world, but had to settle for just 20-25 percentage at the Copenhagen Summit. (ANI)

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