The climate is fast changing for Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, with the Congress party refusing comment on the minister’s reported suggestions, seeking a “radical change” in India’s stated position on climate change, which have come in for stringent attacks from Opposition parties.
“Let us be very clear. The clarification, if any, has to be given by the honourable minister or the PMO. This is a matter in which the party did not have consultation. There is no question of commenting on it,” Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi was quoted as saying in the national capital.
Singhvi was responding to queries over media reports quoting a letter written by Ramesh to the prime minister in which the minister reportedly suggested that India should junk the Kyoto Protocol, delink itself from G-77 and permit external scrutiny of measures it takes to check greenhouse gas emission.
Meanwhile, in a sharp reaction, the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has asked to clarify its stand on the matter.
“Is the Environment Minister giving his personal views or is he a stalking horse on behalf of a larger lobby? If these are his personal views, can he continue as India’s key negotiator on climate change,” questioned Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and top BJP leader Arun Jaitley.
He said BJP “expected the government to clarify” on its stand on the issue of climate change and India’s stated position at the international fora.
Joining in the attack, CPI(M) politburo member Brinda Karat describedthe reported suggestions as contrary to the government’s stand and “more or less reflect the US position.”
In a letter to Ramesh, she said “you are proposing unilateral action by India without any linkage with the required cuts in emission by the developed world. This constitutes a reversal of India’s declared position thus far.”
She demanded that the issues be made public and discussed in Parliament.
Radically contradicting his reported stand in the letter, Ramesh on Monday stood by the Kyoto Protocol which seeks deeper emission cuts from developed nations.
“The voluntary actions of developing countries could not be equated with the commitments of developed countries,” the minister said in a meeting with his Japanese counterpart Sakihito Ozawa who is in the national capital to participate in a two-day Climate Change Technology Conference that kicks off on Wednesday.
(Based on Media Reports)