In a marked shift from its earlier position the Indian Minster for Forests and Environment, Jairam Ramesh, announced that India now wanted developed nations to target 25% emissions by 2020. He said to Reuters , “If we say, let’s start with 25 percent, that’s a beginning. I’m not theological about this. It’s a negotiation. We have given a number of 40 but one has to be realistic,”.
This new stance disappointed climate change activists around the world who were counting on India’s growing clout in the negotiations to pressurize developed nations to accept higher emission cuts. But the Indian minister is keen to make some compromises that are necessary to reach a deal at the all important UN climate change summit at Copenhagen, barely five weeks away.
Jairam Ramesh recently raised a political storm when he proposed that India agree to emission cuts as well which is a key demand by the USA. The Indian negotiators and the Prime Minister’s office quickly distanced themselves from the statement and Jairam Ramesh issued a press release that clarified India’s position. He said India will never accept any dilution or renegotiation of the provisions and principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Internationally legally binding emission reduction targets are for developed countries and developed countries alone, as globally agree under the Bail Action Plan.
He further added that India will agree to consider international measurement, reporting and verification (“MRV”) of its mitigation actions only when such actions are enabled and supported by international finance and technology.
The outcome of the Barcelona negotiating meet next week will clarify if the rest of the developing world would agree to this new stand.