19 December 2011

About that Durban Deal

India has pulled the rug out from under those who would try to spin the outcome of the Durban Climate Conference as some sort of step towards an international agreement to limit emissions. The Indian Environmental Minister Shrimati Jayanthi Natarajan, had this to say before the Indian parliament upon returning from Durban:
India has always taken a stand that India cannot agree to a legally binding agreement for emissions reduction at this stage of our development. Our emissions are bound to grow as we have to ensure our social and economic development and fulfill the imperative of poverty eradication.

Some Parties led by the European Union wanted to delete the option relating to ‘legal outcome’ which was originally mooted by India., We successfully resisted this pressures and in turn suggested a similar expression ‘agreed outcome with legal force’ which found acceptance with all the Parties. The post 2020 arrangements, when finalized, may include some aspirational CoP decisions, binding CoP decisions, setting up of new institutions and bodies, and new protocols or other legal instruments as necessary to implement the decisions covering various issues with various degrees of binding-ness as per domestic or international provisions of law under the Convention.

I must clarify that this decision does not imply that India has to take binding commitments to reduce its emissions in absolute terms in 2020.
So much for the spin.