Climate change: India will prevent political commitment from deviating from Bali Action Plan

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New Delhi, Dec.16 (ANI): Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao on Wednesday said that India would take all measures and steps necessary to prevent the developed nations from imposing a political commitment on carbon emission cuts on developing countries that was at variance to what has been agreed under the the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Bali Action Plan (BAP).

Briefing media here ahead of the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh's, two-day visit to Copenhagen, Denmark, for the Heads of States meeting, which begins on Thursday, Ms.Rao said: "From our perspective, we need to ensure that this expression of a fresh political commitment does not become a template for a new mandate that detracts from the Bali Action Plan and dissolves the fundamental differentiation in the nature of commitments/actions amongst developed and developing countries as visualized in the BAP."

Short of stating that the climate change deliberations taking place in the Danish capital were heading for possible collapse, she said they were far from positive.

"From the current state of negotiations, it appears that the developed countries are not prepared for a comprehensive outcome at Copenhagen that would bind them to fulfill the commitments for emissions reductions under Kyoto protocol and the UNFCCC," she said.

"It appears that the CoP 15 (Conference of Parties-15) Chair is working towards a political agreement, and not a legally binding agreement, that would cover immediate and strong action on all areas of the Bali mandate that would set the Parties on track for a comprehensive legal framework (in due course) during 2010," Rao added.

India, the foreign secretary said, is working in the BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) coalition.

"We are also in close touch with our friends in Africa. The G-77 and China, as the largest grouping of developing countries is performing an extremely useful role in helping member states coordinate their approach to climate change negotiations, although there are groups within the G-77 with a very specific perspective, such as the small island states," she said.

"A key objective for India and its coalition partners is to ensure that any further work in the post- Copenhagen phase of negotiations proceeds on the basis of the principles and provisions of the UN Convention, and the Bali Action Plan," Rao said.

"As you are probably aware, a conference in Mexico, to be held sometime in the second half of 2010, has been mooted in this connection," she added.

The Prime Minister, she said, would be visiting Copenhagen from 17-18 December for the final stages of the eleven-day climate change meeting.

"The Copenhagen Conference is not a summit-level meeting on climate change. The Danish Prime Minister (Lars Lokke Rasmussen) has invited Heads of State/Government to the concluding days of the Conference on 17-18 December 2009. The exact format of the Heads of State/Government level session on December 18 is still evolving. However, a formal plenary session with country statements is not expected. We understand that the Danish hosts would provide for a more interactive session," the foreign secretary said.

Ms. Rao said that the Prime Minister's participation at the Copenhagen Conference demonstrates how seriously India views the challenge of climate change and the importance it attaches to intensifying international cooperation to address it. By Ashok Dixit (ANI)

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