New Delhi: India has said that continuation of the Kyoto Protocol is essential to safeguard the climate change negotiations process.
India's environment minister, Jairam Ramesh, outlined India's position on a number of key issues at the Petersberg Dialogue, a process jointly convened by Germany and South Africa, to identify the deliverables at Durban and build the required political environment.
"If the Kyoto Protocol dies, the entire climate change negotiating process will be delivered a fatal body blow. The Kyoto Protocol as a political and legal pact has great value and must be preserved," Ramesh told the Berlin ministerial attended by 50 countries representing the entire spectrum of interests in the climate negotiations.
He argued that the Kyoto Protocol, which has acquired iconic status, is a "carefully negotiated" treaty. In arguing for the need for a second commitment period for the Protocol, Ramesh said that it "more than mere targets. There is a whole architecture of compliance and accounting rules."
Delhi has clarified that even as it recognises the need for a global target to limit emissions, it can't be achieved at the cost of economic growth of developing countries. India's own emissions will not peak for another three to four decades, in which time it expects to address its development needs.
Many countries argue that extension of the protocol, or the second commitment, is only possible when emerging economies like India and China agree to limit their emissions.
Minister Ramesh made it clear that the first order of business would be to ensure that Kyoto Protocol continues to be in existence.
India is of the view that discussions on the quantum of emission cuts taken by developed nations should not result in any moves that may threaten the agreement.