No significant progress on climate change in Bangkok: Saran

07 October 2009, Bangkok | IST: 5:00p.m
Shyam Saran, the Prime Minister of India’s special envoy on climate change, addressed the press on October 6.

CSE brings you some excepts of the interview.

Coming soon: complete transcript of the interview with audio recordings.

On the Bangkok round of talks:

“Whatever be the nature of the outcome (of Bangkok)..essentially what we are looking at is how we can come up with a document that is concise, cogent and reflects the consensus in the international community to deal with Climate change. (But) we have not concluded the exercise for the obvious reason: we do not yet have an agreement on the most difficult issues such as mitigation and finance.”

On mitigation as a key area of climate change negotiation:

“India’s position is clear: in order to ensure success in Copenhagen, it is imperative that there should be an early decision on significant emission reduction developed countries. On (this front) we have made virtually no progress.

In Bonn, India and 36 other developing countries presented a proposal which would have resulted in at least 40% reduction in the emissions of the developed countries by 2020, (considering) 1990 as a baseline. There has been no response to that proposal.”

On the US role in hindering Kyoto Protocol:

"(In the US) the legislation on climate change, better known as the Waxman Markey Bill was supposed to be approved through the Senate process hopefully before Copenhagen. Now it seems unlikely. There is also the issue of the comparability of efforts other developed countries (like the EU) are prepared to make. There is uncertainty..and renewal of debate on the commitments..(Due to which) there is now a concerted effort to somehow put the Kyoto Protocol aside and say that we need some kind of a new instrument or a new protocol in which the commitments of KP will be reflected along with the commitment of developing, at least major developing countries, which disturbs us."

“We are now seeing formulations, which talk about some kind of schedule (similar to the) WTO or we could have some kind of registration, where the actions, as opposed to legal obligations of the different parties would be reflected. Far from enhancing the level of obligations that are there in Kyoto Protocol, we could end up with a level of obligation even lesser than what we had in the KP.

This is the danger that we as developing countries are resisting. We are saying you cannot unilaterally set aside the KP.”

On the issue of technology transfer:

“On the technology side, there have been some positive developments - in terms of identifying areas where we could work together, the areas we could advance our technology cooperation.

But the fundamental issue remains how the UNFCCC is going to come up with a global mechanism, which will enable the transfer of climate friendly technologies. Can it set up some kind of global platform on which technological cooperation can be created for transformational technologies for the future.

Underlying all this is (issue of money): Is there money available to do all this? Is there money available to assist developing countries to adapt to climate change, which is already taking place and which will continue to take place? (This is) in addition to support mitigation action that they voluntarily take themselves.

There are a set of proposals from developing countries, from G77 and China, but so far we have not seen much progress in this respect.”