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Durban Statement by India at the Press meet of BASIC Ministers

Written By Krishna on Thursday, December 08, 2011 | 11:27 AM

The Ministry of Environment and Forests made a statement at the Press meet of BASIC Conference at Durban. The following is the script:

Dear Friends, and representatives of the Media,

Thank you for coming to this meeting.

India is participating in the negotiations at Durban in a very constructive and hopeful spirit. We are fully behind South Africa, our hosts and a valued member of the BASIC group, to ensure that Durban CoP succeeds.

It is very important that, in Durban, a clear and ratifiable decision on Kyoto Protocol (KP) second commitment period takes place. This must happen if KP parties are really committed to addressing climate change. Developing countries should not be asked to make a payment every time an existing obligation becomes due on the part of developed countries. We have already walked the extra mile and are in fact are doing more than what our partners are doing.

As a BASIC country, India has engaged very constructively on the question of transparency arrangements. We are making advances in this regard. We are fulfilling our part of the obligations. It is time the developed countries stepped up to fulfill their part of the commitment under UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol.

In these negotiations, some countries have projected the question of a legally binding agreement in future as a panacea for climate change. This is completely off the mark. This question confuses the implementation with ambition. There is an ambition gap because the KP parties have not fulfilled their political obligations. There are more in the wings that are preparing to announce their intention to forsake their international obligation. We need to ensure that the parties meet their commitments whether under the Convention or the KP.

We must also not forget that, for a very large number of poor in the developing world, the world has not changed. They continue to struggle with the challenge of eking out their livelihoods and meeting their basic needs. They cannot be expected to be legally bound to reduce their emissions when they have nothing to emit. Eradication of their poverty and social and economic development is their primary goal. Development is the best healer for environment.

We should also not confuse the matter of Review with the question of a legally binding agreement. Review of the long-term global goal does not imply a review of the Convention; it should involve assessment of the implementation gaps in achieving the ultimate objective of the Convention. We should take stock of the performance of various groups of countries when the results of the 5th Assessment report of IPCC and review and assessments of developed country actions are available.

India wants and is hopeful that the Green Climate Fund (GCF) will be established at Durban. . Developed country Parties who have commitment to provide resources should agree to capitalize the Fund and also to the structure of long term sources of finance for the GCF.

We have proposed three agenda items for consideration by CoP at Durban to ensure that the issues unresolved at Cancun are fully addressed in the negotiating process. These are the issues of equity, unilateral actions and technology-related IPRs. In Cancun, these fell off the table in the rush to reach decisions.

Equity is a fundamental issue in climate change, It deals not only with CBDR, but more importantly, with equity in access to global atmospheric resources. The question of unilateral measures has come up as such measures violate the principles of CBDR. The recent announcement by EU to impose unilaterally carbon tax on civil aviation emissions under their Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) scheme is a clear reminder of such measures. These actions are disguised trade actions taken in the name of climate. Similarly, we need further work in the area of IPRs to facilitate the goal of technology development and transfer at affordable costs.

We have shown great flexibility in terms of the choice of process and fora for addressing these issues. We have participated in the Presidency consultations on the matter and are hopeful that the matter will be resolved. The issues should not be lost sight of and should be addressed by the CoP or a relevant body under the CoP.

We in the BASIC are a part of the G77 and China and believe that we will strengthen the voice of developing countries by coordinating our position.

KP

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Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India

New Delhi: Agrahayana 17, 1933

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