India should walk out of the Doha negotiations if equity is not made a part of the deal, says Sunita Narain, director-general of CSE
CoP18, Doha, December 5, 2012: “In Doha, there is a general sense of agreement on the principle of equity per se. The challenge now will be to make the world agree on operationalising equity – equity cannot remain just an idea, it should become an operational principle,” said R R Rashmi, chief Indian negotiator at the 18th UN Conference of Parties (CoP 18) on Climate Change. He was speaking at a side event organized here today by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) and the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), on the subject of equity and its imperative for an effective climate agreement.
“Equity, in fact, is the pre-requisite for effective action in this area – there can be no effective deal at Doha without equity. However, in global negotiations, equity has become an inconvenient word,” said Sunita Narain, director general of CSE. “And the Durban Platform should give us the foundations to build on. It should create conditions so that the world can move to low-carbon, and leapfrog to cleaner technologies,” She added: “The Indian government should take a principled stand and walk out of the Doha climate talks if equity is not made a part of the deal.”
CSE and the ministry had organized a similar side event in 2011, at the CoP17 in Durban, South Africa. Speaking at that side event, India’s minister of state for environment and forests, Jayanthi Natarajan had made it clear that India will not compromise on the principles of equity and historical responsibility, which according to her, were the bulwarks on which all climate negotiations must rest.
In Doha, both Ms Narain and Mr Rashmi agreed that the principal of equity will establish the road map for now and future. However, they pointed out that developed countries are not fulfilling their obligations and are trying to rewrite the climate convention at Doha.
Equity, said Ms Narain, is linked to ambition – the world wants an ambitious deal, but for that to happen, equity is essential. “We should choose a simple approach that will operationalise the principals of the Durban Platform,” she added.
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