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Dec 17, 2009 at 11:22pm IST

US pressuring India on climate talks

Copenhagen: Climate change talks in Copenhagen are back on track and there are signs of the United States of America putting pressure on India to follow the line adopted by the developed countries.

Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said that there was 75 per cent agreement in climate talks with the US shortly after the American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton offered to mobilise $100 billion for poor economies if they agreed to "transparency" - a reference to monitoring of emission cut measures by developing countries.

ALSO SEE India attacks Danes for secret statement

"In the context of a strong accord in which all the major economies stand behind meaningful mitigation and full transparency in the implementation of the agreement, the United States is prepared to go ahead in achieving the goal with other countries, to mobilise an amount of $100 billion every year by 2020," Hillary had announced.

Ramesh's statement is an indication India might agree to emission cuts in exchange for money being offered the developed world.

He also said the negotiations had resumed on the two track process raising hopes on a political statement just a few hours after India led developing countries in attacking host Denmark and developed nations for working on a "secret statement".

"I think one good thing happened today (Thursday). The negotiations have resumed on the two track process. I think the sustained pressure brought to bear by the developing countries has paid off," he said.

Ramesh clarified that there was only 25 per cent disagreement with the US on "Monitoring, Reporting and Verification".

Earlier talks hit a roadblock as Danish Prime Minister Lars Loke Rassmussen announced that the climate draft moved by his country had been rejected after fierce opposition by India and China.

He further said talks would now resume on Kyoto Protocol and long-term cooperative action.

Ramesh had reacted very strongly to the host Prime Minister's remarks.

"The process adopted at the conference is deeply flawed. There has been no sincere effort by the Danes to reduce the trust deficit. What has happened is unexpected and unfortunate. Reluctance by Danes to reveal contents of political outcome to ministers is baffling. It appears to me all along the objective has been to delay, delay and delay," said the Indian Environment Minister.

The BASIC countries and G-77 met the Danish Prime Minister, who assured them that all further discussions would be transparent, based on consensus and there would be no surprises.

Hillary had earlier also accused some countries, referring to BASIC countries, of not being transparent and warned of the deal falling through.

"Whether developed countries take on these obligations and whether developing countries work on their own mitigation and adaptation measures with a transparency mechanism, there won't be any kind of consorted global action that we so desperately need. If there is not even a commitment to pursue transparency that's kind of a dealbreaker. If there is a backing away from transparency and that is to us something that undermines the whole effort that we are engaged in," she said.

But climate change activists have reacted strongly to a possible deal with the US.

CSE chief Sunita Narain said that a deal would be going back on the non-negotiables that the Environment Minister spoke about in Parliament before leaving for Copenhagen.

"The world is coming towards a negotiated agreement at Copenhagen. All countries are working towards it together and if India today strikes a side deal with US, it will be disastrous as we are already hearing from G-77 that they are very worried that India is going to let down the side," said Sunita.

"So please be very clear. This is not good for India. India must not let down developing countries and it is also very clear. There can't be any deal with Americans. Americans are not good for climate change," she said.

"They are promising little money, they are promising to do little at home and they are trying to bind us into agreement on emission cuts and verification of our domestic action. If you see the language of verification language today, it says India will agree to have consultation on its domestic actions at an international level. This is clearly a backhand way of saying that we will allow our domestic actions to be verified. Once you do that you are saying that you are taking on international commitments. So it is India agreeing to do what it said it will not," she added.

(With inputs from Bahar Dutt)