Invoking Gandhi to make Durban talks deliver

December 5th, 2011 - 8:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Durban, Dec 5 (IANS) As negotiations at the UN climate change talks headed for a deadlock, Bangladesh Monday appealed to delegates that the Durban conference cannot fail as this is the land where Mahatma Gandhi “fought for the people in distress”.

Bangladesh Environment Minister Hasan Mahmud emphasised that the climate change talks dealt with the future of people badly affected by climate change, and the city has to deliver.

“We are hopeful that Durban won’t fail. Mahatma Gandhi fought here for the rescue of people in distress and as did former president Nelson Mandela,” he said.

Speaking at an event during the on-going 17th Conference of Parties (CoP) from Nov 28-Dec 9, Hasan said: “I think Durban won’t fail to do something for humanity.”

Gandhi had played a pivotal role in the struggle of the Indians for civil rights in South Africa. Victimized by incidents of racial discrimination, Gandhi embarked on a crusade against injustice in South Africa.

Hasan called it “frustrating” to see some major economies not coming forward to own the responsibility for damage done to the environment by them.

The climate talks so far are headed nowhere with growing differences between rich and poor countries over some contentious issues.

The main differences are over extension of the Kyoto Protocol, the only legally binding regime, transfer of technology to shift to low carbon measures, and a climate fund to adapt to climate change.

The African Union Monday called the European Union (EU) proposal for a new global treaty on climate change as “a political commitment” rather than a “legal commitment”, saying rich countries should first respect the existing regime.

While the EU said it is ready for a second commitment period of Kyoto Protocol - which expires 2012 - if there are “mutual assurances” by other non-party developed nations and emerging economies to cut down their emissions.

India, on other hand, is in support of extension of the Kyoto Protocol but is not ready for any new global treaty. China, the biggest emitter, has shown some flexibility, saying it can take legally binding cuts post 2020.

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