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Opposition slams govt on Copenhagen Accord

Last updated on: December 22, 2009 17:23 IST

The Parliament HouseThe Opposition on Tuesday slammed the government in the Rajya Sabha on the Copenhagen Accord, saying it was a 'global disappointment' and a 'compromise document' which would hurt India's sovereignty by opening up its voluntary emission cuts to global scrutiny.

Equating the accord with the Sharm-el-Sheikh joint statement between India and Pakistan, Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley accused the government of 'spin doctoring' and trying to interpret the agreement differently.

Describing the Accord as a 'global disappointment' amounting to 'betrayal of poor nations', the BJP leader took particular objection to the mention of peaking of emissions in the Accord even though no year has been fixed for it.

Contending that the government had digressed from its commitment to Parliament on peaking, Jaitley argued that by accepting the principle of peaking, India would be under pressure in the next round of talks to agree to a particular year.

He also questioned the provision of reporting on India's domestic mitigation actions on emission cuts which he felt would bind the country and affect its sovereignty.

The mention of 'international consultations and analysis' on mitigation steps 'obliterates distinction between supported and unsupported actions' and India could be subjected to some kind of inspections, he said.

"Consequences will follow" if India does not meet the targets it outlines even though these may be unsupported actions, Jaitley said.

Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury called the accord 'a compromise document' and 'an attempt to jettison' the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol and Bali Action Plan.

"We have opened windows for the possible jettisoning of the Kyoto Protocol" just like the developed world wanted, he alleged.

He accused the government of ensuring that the developed countries were let off from the legally binding provisions in the Protocol for penalties against defaulting states.

CPI's Raja described the Accord as 'no step forward and several steps backward' and sought to know how developed countries would finance the stopping of deforestation and encourage afforestation by developing nations.

Pointing to assurances that India and others would have to inform the UNFCCC about its emissions, Jaitley asked if the accord was not legally binding, 'what will happen if developed countries do not submit (their emission reports) by January 31.'

The BJP leader also questioned the pattern of funding of the actions to cut emissions by the developed countries, saying it was to be made from a gamut of measures including private, public, bilateral and multilateral sources.

Jaitely said no reference had been made on the Intellectual Property Rights in the accord.

Referring to the clause relating to 'international consultations and analysis', Yechury sought clarification on whether this was 'not a pseudonym' for a legally-binding condition being imposed on India relating to emission cuts.

On funding of these cuts by developed nations, he said it was difficult, if not impossible, for these countries to raise $100 billion each year from the market, particularly when the global economy was facing a recession.

The CPI-M leader said India's stand on transfer of technology without the IPR regime was also being negated. Congress members complimented Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for providing leadership to the Copenhagen summit.

However, they made some enquiries from Ramesh on a White House official's controversial remarks.

Party member Santosh Bagrodia asked if India would get any money from the $30 billion announced by the developed countries for climate change mitigation action.

Rajeev Shukla wondered how far China would go along with India. Saif-ud-Din Soz said India should always thwart attempts by the developed countries to dump the Kyoto Protocol.

Janardan Dwivedi of the party wanted to know what happened at the meeting of the BASIC countries where US President Barack Obama suddenly walked in.

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