Climate Change

Jairam Ramesh Press Conference

The Environment and Forests Minister spoke to the media in Copenhagen on Friday evening

Last Updated: Monday 07 December 2009

Equitywatch brings you highlights of the press conference transcript:

On calls for a 1.5 degree limit
This not the first that this has been said. Earlier also some island nation states have said that 2 degrees is a too liberal a limit it should be 1.5 degrees. We have decided to to take a 2 degree global goal. But it has to be part of a equitable burden sharing formula, the details of which can be worked out. But we believe the most equitable burden sharing formula is per capita convergence of emissions.

On the question of measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) of mitigation actions
I have had a long discussion with Todd Stern. We are taking this issue forward. As you know there is basic agreement that all actions that are supported by international finance and technology will be subject to international MRV. The debate is on the unsupported actions. Our position is different from the US and the other developed countries but I am hopeful in the next few days we will be able to arrive at a consensus which will be able to satisfy everybody.

India does not suffer from lack of transparency. I think we have a surplus of it. There is a very strong feeling about any verification of unsupported action would be very intrusive. And many countries would like to maintain limits. Take United States for example. It does not allow international verification for biological weapons.

On the US stand that China and India should be exempted from adaptation money
India also has a lot vulnerable areas: Lakhadweep, Andmans, Sundarbans. So India is also a microcosm of regions which will badly hit by climate change where a major response would be adaption. So India is going to be a candidate for international finances. But when India becomes a candidate for international finances, others get dropped out. I am sympathetic to the idea that finance should be broad-based.

On AWG-KP and AWG-LCA drafts presented on December 11
We have not rejected the drafts that were submitted today. We have those two drafts. We have some serious concerns on those two drafts. For India, any draft with a peaking year is unacceptable. For India, a draft with a global goal [for emissions reductions] without equitable burden sharing is unacceptable.

On Himalayan glaciers
The general concensus view among the Indian scientific community is, most Himalayan glaciers are retreating; [but] some glaciers are advancing, some glaciers are retreating at a decelerating rate and the link between global warming and retreat of glaciers has not been conclusively established because there is also the problem of cyclical change. We need to measure monitor and model. But we do not need to wait for perfect science to protect livelihood of people who would be affected by these disappearing glaciers

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