NEW DELHI - Eight South Asian countries have agreed they can’t be part of any climate change deal that sets legally binding limits on their emissions, an Indian official said yesterday.
India, Pakistan, and six other nations will present a coordinated stance at a key global meeting in Copenhagen in December to stick with the Kyoto Protocol, agreed in 1997, Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said after a two-day meeting of regional environment ministers.
The Kyoto Protocol was the first global agreement requiring modest reductions in emissions by industrialized countries. The United States rejected it because it exempted such countries as India and China, both major polluters, from obligations.
The Copenhagen meeting aims at approving a new climate treaty. Developed countries, including the United States, want newly emerging economies to do their part in cutting emissions of such heat-trapping gases as carbon dioxide.
India, however, has previously said it won’t accept legally binding limits on its emissions - a stance that could jeopardize efforts to reach a meaningful climate change accord.
“There is a consensus among South Asian nations that we should not budge from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Kyoto Protocol and the Bali declaration,’’ Ramesh said.
Countries such as India, China, Brazil, and Mexico have agreed to draw up programs to slow the growth of their greenhouse gas emissions, but they have resisted making those limits binding and subject to international monitoring.