India faces criticism from EU over climate deal

European UnionIndia faced severe censure from the European Union (EU) when it blamed India for upholding a “relatively tough stand”, obstructing a fresh legally-binding climate accord which was to be arrived at Durban. India has rejected the accusation from EU and affirmed that it was open for a dialogue concerning a binding climate deal. India also said that the question of equity and the right to grow must be considered while discussing a legally-binding climate agreement.

Connie Hedegaard, the EU climate commissioner, said that the two main issues that seem to bother India are the period of time within which the develop and developing countries should make the cuts on their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the prospect of the legal form of a global agreement to thwart climate change. She also remarked that while China has been flexible regarding the new agreement and the BASIC quartet have consented to the proposal of EU, India was the one who was still holding comparatively an unyielding stand.

Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan, leader of the Indian delegation, rejecting the allegations of the EU said “I had a meeting with the BASIC this morning and our stand has been the same. I have come here with an open mind, but we want to know the content of the legally- binding deal. We want to know if they are going to give us a ratifiable Kyoto in return”. She affirmed that India’s demands have been “extremely reasonable” and that the formula to combat the climate change should be one that takes into consideration the realities of the 21st century.

On the concluding day of the annual summit of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at Durban, the president of the climate conference looked forward to for a positive outcome.

The African Group came out in support for India shortly after the EU outburst against India saying that each country’s stand should be respected since it may be difficult for some countries to commit to a legally-binding agreement.

India has been firm on its stand over several years that the rich countries should formulate a legally -binding agreement for controlling its GHG emission, whereas, the emission controls should be voluntary ones for the developing countries. India holds these rich countries accountable for the major part of GHG present in the atmosphere today.

India faces criticism from EU over climate deal

Report by Radhalakshmi R