Hopenhagen: PM Heads Home

After a grouping of Brazil, South Africa, India and China sealed a “legally non binding” climate change deal with the US, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is on his way back to New Delhi from Copenhagen where he joined leaders from around the world for the UN Summit for Climate Change.

The BASIC, an alliance of Brazil, South Africa, India and China, sealed a deal on climate change with the US after leaders from member countries met US President Barack Obama late on Friday.

Speaking after the meeting the US President said: “Today we’ve made meaningful and unprecedented breakthrough here (Copenhagen).”

The US President said he and BASIC countries agreed to set a mitigation target to limit warming to no more than two degrees Celsius, and importantly, to take action to meet this objective consistent with science.

“We have a difficult task ahead of us. I hope we will all play a positive and constructive role so that we can bridge differences and come up with a balance and also an equitable outcome during the coming years. India will not be found wanting in this regard,” Premier Singh was quoted as saying after the deal was sealed.

However, PM’s Special Envoy on Climate Change, Shyam Saran, is not accompanying Singh to New Delhi and has stayed back in the Danish capital to “fine tune” the agreement.

The summit, though, failing to adopt a binding treaty on emission cuts concluded after deciding to “take note” of the BASIC-US deal, which was rejected by several poor nations.

Singh had earlier staggered his departure by about five hours as he went back to the summit venue to hold negotiations with leaders of China, Brazil and South Africa.

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