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Climate talks: Need to go back to basics,say India,China

With little progress being made in the climate talks underway in Bonn for the past one and half weeks,India and China ...

Written by Amitabh Sinha | Bonn |
June 10, 2010 12:37:25 am

With little progress being made in the climate talks underway in Bonn for the past one and half weeks,India and China Wednesday stressed on the need to go back to basics and re-start the process from the first principles enshrined in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

With just three days of talks left,lead negotiators from India and China said there were two issues that needed to be addressed: rebuilding of the trust that was destroyed in Copenhagen; and re-aligning the talks with the fundamental principles that have been guiding the climate debate through the last two decades.

“We need to go back to the basics. I suggest everyone takes out the (UN) Convention (on climate change) and re-read it to re-familiarise themselves with the essential principles enshrined therein that have been guiding these negotiations for a number of years now — the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities and the principle of equity,” said Yu Qingtai,Chinese lead negotiator.

The common but differentiated responsibility refers to the shared obligation of all countries in contributing to the fight against climate change,in which the rich and industrialised countries,by virtue of being responsible for causing maximum pollution and also having more financial and technological resources,shoulder a larger share of the burden.

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Indian negotiator J M Mauskar said any attempt to tamper with the Convention would be counter-productive to the goal of finding a global and comprehensive legally binding architecture to address the effects of climate change. “I don’t think we are here to negotiate a new climate regime (outside of UNFCCC). The regime is already there,it is the Convention. It is highly improbable that a new regime would be any better than what we already have,” he said.

The comments come in the backdrop of a complete standstill in climate talks since the disappointment of Copenhagen where expectations of a global agreement had come crashing to the ground.

Qingtai said instead of an agreement,the Copenhagen conference had produced a scenario in which the atmosphere of constructive dialogue had been destroyed. “Some parties unfortunately departed from the path of dialogue and used coercion and pressure. It did not work. The largest casualty was mutual trust. Therefore,the first priority ahead of us is to rebuild trust in each other,” he said.

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Mauskar said he was very satisfied to see that after a long time,the negotiators had restarted some constructive dialogue in Bonn.

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First published on: 10-06-2010 at 12:37:25 am

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