Copenhagen: India, China threaten joint exit

  • Date: 28/11/09

The Times of India: In an unprecedented move, India on Saturday joined China and two other developing countries to prepare for a major offensive on rich nations at the Copenhagen conference on climate change next month. The four countries, which include Brazil and South Africa, agreed to a strategy that involves jointly walking out of the conference if the developed nations try to force their own terms on the developing world, Jairam Ramesh, the Indian minister for environment and forests (independent charge), said.
“We will not exit in isolation. We will co-ordinate our exit if any of our non-negotiable terms is violated. Our entry and exit will be collective,” Ramesh told reporters in Beijing.
The move comes after reports suggested that rich nations led by Denmark are trying to set the agenda of the conference by presenting a draft containing a set of specific proposals.
The BASIC countries-Brazil, South Africa, India and China- decided to throw the gauntlet at rich nations by coming up with a counter-draft that will be presented at the conference. They agreed to let China, which initiated the exercise, to present the draft of the developing nations at Copenhagen.
“This BASIC draft fully meets India’s goals and aspirations. We hope it is made the basis of discussions at the conference,” Ramesh said.
The draft, which was originally prepared by China, was finalized after some changes during a 7-hour long meeting of BASIC countries-Brazil, South Africa, India and China besides Sudan as the chair of G-77.
This joint front forged on Saturday is a major political initiative — the first major India-China accord on international affairs–that is likely to impact not just the dimension of the talks on climate change but international diplomacy as a whole.
The move comes after recent discussions on climate change held with Indian and Chinese leaders by US president Barack Obama, who appears to have made little impact on them.

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