There’s Progress on Three Provisions of LCA Draft: Ramesh

Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has said that some progress has been made in three provisions of the draft which was prepared under the Long Term Cooperative Action (LCA) track, which is presently unacceptable to India.

The minister’s statement came following suspension of climate change summit in Copenhagen due to protest by Afrcia group.

Ramesh said that the three contentious provisions have come from the Alliance of Small Island States and that he had met with ministers of several AOSIS nations including Bermuda, Grenada, Barbados and would also be meeting the Maldives later.

“I have met the AOSIS countries twice today,” he said. “We have suggested alternative formulations and we have also given our objections to para 3, para 4 and para 8 in writing to Michael Cutajar.”

A draft tabled by the chair of the LCA Michael Zammit last week calls on all parties (under Article 3) to cut the gas emissions by 50, 85, or 90 per cent by  2050.

While Article 4 calls on all parties ‘peak’ as soon as possible and recognizes that developing countries will do it later than developed countries.

Article 8 calls for a comprehensive review of the implementation of mitigation obligations with the first one in 2016.

Ramesh emphasised that para 3, 4, 8 have been presented without alternatives. “I have made it absolutely clear that 3, 4, 8 are red lines as far as India is concerned. We have problems not only with the drafting but also with the idea,” he said.

The minister also noted that India’s opposition to 3, 4 and 8 had also been taken up by the developed nations.

“We have mentioned it to the UK because they have considerable influence over AOSIS countries,” Ramesh said, adding the matter had also been mentioned to the Australian Environment Minister Peggy Wong.

“One of the lessons we must learn is that we must treat AOSIS as an important entity. We can’t take them granted. We have to listen to them and understand what their concerns are,” he said.

Ramesh mentioned that India’s opposition to the three provisions was supported by the BASIC countries and several nations in the G77, especially Saudi Arabia.

Delegates from 192 countries have been for a week attempting to hammer out a climate change texts before the heads of state/government from over a 100 countries including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President Barack Obama arrive later this week.

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