India fighting to salvage equity in Doha climate talks

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Doha, Dec 6: India is fighting an increasingly difficult battle to prevent the principle of equity from being junked from the platform of negotiations at the crucial climate change talks here as certain powerful blocs seek to erase the baggage of history from the story of global warming.

The principle of equity in deciding who does what and how much in dealing with climate change was a founding principle of the UN convention for climate change but over the years there has been an unwillingness on the part of rich nations to adopt it into actions.

The larger developing countries like India and China who are among today's major polluters but have minimal historical role in taking the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to its present level are coming under increasing pressure to share the burden of emission reduction.

While they have stated clearly that the principles of equity and historic responsibility are non-negotiable for them, it is to be seen how they continue to resist the mounting pressure as stances change and new axes emerge in the polarised world of climate change talks.

"When the framework of the UN convention on climate change was developed, equity was established as a principle but unfortunately we see today an unwillingness to accept this principle as a basis for actions," said joint secretary of environment affairs and Indian negotiator RR Rashmi.

When an agreement was arrived at last year in Durban that envisaged a post 2020 climate deal, the principle of equity was not mentioned clearly in the ambivalent text, a point that many observers called a big loss for India. And India is trying to fend off the consequences of that cave that came under immense pressure of not being seen as a deal breaker.

"I have heard (from negotiators) that equity is not relevant as it does not figure in the Durban platform, but we have been trying to draw people's attention to the fact that the Durban platform makes it clear that anything under it automatically comes under the convention," Rashmi said while stating India's stance on the issue.

PTI

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