Obama government will push India on climate change: Bush negotiator

December 1st, 2008 - 11:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaPoznan (Poland), Dec 1 (IANS) The outgoing George Bush and the incoming Barack Obama administrations do not differ on the US view that India must commit to a cap on its greenhouse gas emissions, the Bush government’s chief climate negotiator Harlan Watson said here Monday.As nearly 9,000 delegates from 186 countries and over 400 NGOs gathered in this city in west Poland for the Dec 1-12 summit of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), all eyes were on the US delegation, whose members are the same as in previous years of the Bush administration.

The rest of the world has been expecting a major change in the US position, which remains the only industrialised country not to have ratified the Kyoto Protocol, the global compact to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) that are leading to climate change.

But Watson pointed out that US president-elect Obama has been silent on international climate change negotiations, though he indicated big changes in domestic US policy on this front.

“There are no differences (between Democrats and Republicans) on the fact that we need major developing countries on board,” Watson said at a press briefing, referring to the Bush administration position that countries like India and China have to commit to cap their GHG emissions before the US would move further.

This is a position totally at odds with that of the Group of 77 countries, China and especially India, who are clear that they cannot be asked to cap their GHG emissions when they still have to develop their basic energy resources. Previous negotiations have collapsed on this point.

While UNFCCC executive secretary Yvo de Boer said two of the main goals of the Poznan summit were to have quantitative GHG reduction goals by industrialised countries by 2020 and halving their emissions from 1990 levels by 2050, Watson said both goals were “unlikely” to be met.

(Joydeep Gupta can be contacted at joydeep.g@ians.in)

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in World |