December 4, 2009 / 4:49 PM / 8 years ago

China and India oppose foreign climate oversight

<p>People walk through haze at an industrial area in Mumbai December 3, 2009. India will not accept a legally binding emission cut nor a peak year of carbon emissions at the global climate talks in Copenhagen, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said on Thursday.Arko Datta</p>

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - China and other major emerging economies will not allow international supervision of their actions to slow climate change to be part of a deal at U.N. talks in Copenhagen, a top Indian delegate said on Friday.

Giving details of a common front by China, India, Brazil and South Africa at the meeting beginning next Monday, he also said the four opposed global goals for limiting climate change, except for the target of curbing warming to a maximum 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.

"This is more a framework document that is available for negotiation," according to the top delegate, who has intimate knowledge of the proposal for the December 7-18 negotiations.

"The developing world is seeking an alternate architecture" for a new climate deal, he said.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, he said the four nations would only agree to international supervision of their actions to slow climate change when they depended on donor money or technology -- such as imported wind turbines or solar panels.

Otherwise, supervision would be done by each nation.

Developed nations led by the United States want to ensure that developing nations stick to promised actions to slow global warming, fearing that countries may otherwise drop expensive commitments to shift away from fossil fuels.

The U.S. Senate has not yet voted on legislation for cutting U.S. emissions, and Washington wants action by all nations to ensure a global effort. China is the biggest greenhouse gas emitter ahead of the United States, Russia and India.

New Standard

Under a new U.N. deal, all countries are meant to work out ways to fight climate change that are "measurable, reportable and verifiable." But the four emerging nations want a new standard -- "assess, supervise and audit," the delegate said.

The document also included a blank column for developed countries to fill in targets for cutting greenhouse gases by 2020 as part of an extension of the existing Kyoto Protocol.

But it did not reiterate past demands for the rich to make cuts of at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 to help slow warming that the U.N.'s panel of climate experts says will bring more heatwaves, disease, water shortages and species extinctions.

European diplomats said on Wednesday that the four opposed goals such as a halving of world emissions by 2050, a 2020 peak for world emissions and a 2 Celsius ceiling. But the Indian delegate said the 2 C goal was acceptable.

Developing nations say that they cannot sign up for a halving of emissions by 2050 before developed nations, which have grown rich by using fossil fuels, agree to lead the way with cuts by 2020.

The document also included provisions for the United States, the only developed nation outside the Kyoto Protocol, to join in setting 2020 targets. "The point is that everybody has defined their goals, only the U.S. is left," the delegate said.

Reporting by Krittivas Mukherjee, writing by Alister Doyle, editing by Mark Trevelyan

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