India wants strong statement from climate summit

December 10th, 2008 - 12:18 am ICT by IANS  

Poznan (Poland), Dec 9 (IANS) India wants a far stronger statement of intent to fight global warming than appears likely at the ongoing summit of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), a senior member of the government delegation said here Tuesday.With the Dec 1-12 summit stuck over lack of funds and with some developed countries - notably Japan, Canada, New Zealand and Australia - blocking progress, according to delegates and NGOs, not much progress is expected here.

But a senior member of the Indian government delegation said: “My country is impacted (by climate change). I want an ambitious outcome (in Poznan) which is equitable and fair.” The bureaucrat spoke on condition of anonymity.

He pointed out that India had submitted constructive proposals on all areas of action needed to fight climate change, a phenomenon caused largely by unrestrained industrial activity and leading to lowered farm output, more frequent and more severe droughts, floods and storms and a rise in sea levels, with developing countries bearing the brunt of the impacts.

These proposals had been in the areas of a shared vision for long-term cooperative action to fight climate change, in how developing countries would take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in ways “measurable, reportable and verifiable” as long as they received the money and the technology to do so and how mechanisms to reduce deforestation and degradation could be improved.

But the Indian delegate did admit that one of the main expected outcomes of the Poznan summit - a “negotiating text” for a global treaty that could be finalised by the end of next year - was unlikely.

He said the “negotiating text” would now probably be ready in time for an UNFCCC meeting of all member countries scheduled in Bonn next June, and actual negotiations were likely to start only in September next year.

“But that gives us plenty of time before December,” he was confident.

In contrast, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer was Tuesday not at all confident of a “fully elaborated outcome” by the next climate summit in Copenhagen in December 2009. “We should be careful not to reach too far and achieve nothing,” he said.

But he did expect a “clarity on commitments” from industrialised countries, including on numbers, for the Copenhagen summit, plus some form of engagement on mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions from major developing countries.

“Though what form it will take is not clear to me. Economic development and poverty eradication in developing countries must not be jeopardised.”

The ongoing Poznan summit is the first time ministers are meeting after the Bali summit last year, and the last time they were scheduled to meet before the Copenhagen summit, de Boer pointed out, adding that he expected the ministers to give a strong political push to the negotiators so that the fight against climate change was taken up more vigorously.

(Joydeep Gupta can be contacted at

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