Climate change focus shifts to “post-Cancun”: Ramesh

Noting that “no major breakthrough” was possible at the climate change conference in Cancun, environment minister Jairam Ramesh said that the focus of the international community had now shifted to what measures needed to be taken “post-Cancun”.

The minister, who initiated the discussion at the Major Economies Forum in New York , pointed out that the discussion at MEF had revolved around discussing what would be the likely outcomes at Cancun, Mexico.

“Clearly now the focus is on post-Cancun…we recognise that there is no breakthrough possible in Cancun but let’s now try to cut our losses and see what we can do after Cancun,” Ramesh said.

“So we get a set of COP (Conference of Parties) decisions at Cancun and let those decisions serve as a further basis of further action post-Cancun,” he said, after the MEF meeting.

The countries present in the two-day MEF meeting are Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, and the United States.

Countries that come to the conference in Cancun, later this year, are expected to produce a legally binding treaty to combat climate change, which the conference in Copenhagen failed to do.

Instead, two-weeks of negotiations yielded the non-binding Copenhagen Accord, which was produced by 29 countries, but principally drafted by the United States, China, India, Brazil and South Africa, in the last few hours of the Conference.

It was criticised by certain countries including Bolivia, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba for having left the majority of the nations out of the negotiating process, and led to charges of a “trust deficit” between the developed and developing world.

Key elements of the Accord included a limit 2 degree rise of global temperature, 100 billion dollars on finance in long term finance to developing countries and 30 billion dollars to short-term finance to the poorest and most vulnerable countries.

The minister reiterated that one of the reasons for the lack of progress in Cancun is the absence of any action towards dispensing of $30 billion by developed countries promised at Copenhagen.

India and other emerging economies do not benefit from this aid. “We should be realistic of what you can expect to do in Cancun,” Ramesh said.


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