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  • Crucial Cancun meet on climate change begins today

    Published on November 29, 2010

    Keen to act as a “bridge” between developing and developed nations at the UN climate summit in Cancun beginning on Monday, India has offered two proposals on the issues of monitoring of national emissions cuts and sharing of green technologies with poorer countries.

    “We need to be practical and cannot remain frozen and should engage with all countries as part of our foreign policy,” Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said recently about India’s position at the 14-day summit to be attended by over 190 UN members.

    “We are certainly prepared to engage in a system of monitoring, review and verifications/international consultation and analysis (MRV/ICA) of domestic climate actions which respects national soverignity…and we have suggested a set of operational guidelines on how this system will function,” he said.

    While candidly admitting that he would be taken to task by NGOs in New Delhi for his MRV/ICA proposal, he nevertheless said India need to make such a move that is primarily intended to rope in the world’s richest country, the US, which can play a key role in providing technical and financial support to developing countries to deal with climate change threats.

    “I know MRV/ICA is a controversial issue. (But), The US has made it clear that it would not negotiate other issues such as on forestry and technology and adaptation unless we take up MRV/ICA, (for) which we are ready with our set of conditions. This would break the (expected) logjam and impasse (at the Cancun meet),” he said.

    The idea is to break the stalemate at the meet, Ramesh said given the differences between rich and developing nations on various issues, India is ready to act as a “bridge” to reduce the gap between the two.

    Moreover, he further said ICA is a global system for monitoring efforts that developing countries make to counter climate change by using domestic resources and it is part of the Copenhagen Accord agreed to by developing countries like India and China at the climate meet last year.

    Opposing MRV/ICA, NGOs like Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) feel that it would allow developed nations to send inspectors, or ask for records, to check compliance.

    “This will be cleverly couched in the terminology of ‘international consultation’, so that we still believe we are not being asked to take on commitments. But in return they (developed nations) are not even taking higher emission cuts,” CSE head Sunita Narain said.

    India will also propose establishing technology transfer mechanism to set up an international network of centres “focussing in the area of adaptation where IPR and licensing issues are not contentious and controversial issues.”


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