Climate change deal: India emerges as key player in Paris talks

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Washington | Published: December 12, 2015 9:07:59 AM

India has emerged as key player in the negotiations for a crucial climate change deal in Paris that has entered the final phase, according to a media report.

prakash javadekar on climate changeUS Secretary of State John Kerry (L) shows of a bouquet which he received for his birthday from India?s Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar (R) following a meeting on the sidelines of the COP 21 United Nations conference on climate change in Le Bourget, on the outskirts of Paris (Reuters)

India has emerged as key player in the negotiations for a crucial climate change deal in Paris that has entered the final phase, according to a media report.

India hit back at developed countries that have been accusing it of refusing to yield ground on emissions and funding, saying they were not showing flexibility and posing roadblocks for a comprehensive climate deal, deadline for which was extended by a day yesterday.

With just hours remaining before negotiators hopes to close a deal addressing climate change, India has emerged as a key player,” the Time magazine said in a news report yesterday, which noted that Indian leaders were walking a tight rope on the issue of climate change.

Officials wanted to show that the world’s fourth-biggest carbon emitter was ready to play a constructive role in international climate negotiations, it said.

“On the other hand, negotiators need to show citizens back home that addressing climate change would not detract from development goals particularly the need to bring power to the quarter of the population that goes without it,” Time said.

The White House said there was broad agreement about countries making a substantial commitment to reducing their carbon pollution, about specific transparency measures so that people can demonstrate their commitment to those commitments.

“There has also been obviously discussion about the importance of investing in renewable energy and in other technology that could assist countries that are experiencing the impacts of climate change already, and are poised to experience even more impacts in the years ahead,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said.

Negotiations for a climate change deal hit a roadblock yesterday as countries like India and China refused to yield their ground on emissions and funding.

On Thursday US President Barack Obama spoke with his Chinese counterpart for about half an hour and early this week he telephoned Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the same issue.

Officials did not rule out more calls between Obama and Modi as the negotiations enter last phase.

“The United States and China have been playing an important leading role in getting the talks this far, and there continues to be agreement in principle on what an outcome should look like,” Earnest said.

“But there’s more work to be done before we’re going to be able to come to that final agreement, and that means there will presumably be continued discussions between US and Chinese negotiators, and the negotiators with countries, including the Brazilians on and with the French, who obviously are leading the negotiations,” he said.

He said given all of the differences between the United States and China on a variety of issues, the view of of the two countries when it comes to completing a climate agreement has been quite similar.

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