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What Happens After Copenhagen (by Nitin Sethi, from Times of India)

January 11, 2010

The high-octane Copenhagen climate talks may have ended but
global negotiations are going to get into a greater frenzy in 2010. To be
on top of the game, the BASIC four countries — China, India, South Africa
and Brazil — are going to meet in January itself to sort out common
positions ahead of the frenzied formal talks that are bound to run through
the year.

China has written to India requesting an early ministerial round of the
BASIC countries, which emerged as the most influential alliance sealing the
Copenhagen Accord along with the US and other developed economies.

Members of the BASIC group have expressed apprehensions that the next few
rounds of meetings running through 2010 would be far more problematic and
challenging than even the discordant Copenhagen round. They have warned
that a greater level of cooperation would be required in the coming months
to counter pressure from an angry Europe (which felt slighted at the
Copenhagen talks) on one side, the resurgent and jubilant US administration
(having steered the talks in its favour) on another and an upset fraternity
of G77 countries completing the triangle.

The meeting is bound to also discuss strategies to deal with other non-UN
but important meetings like that of the G20 and the US-hosted Major
Economies Forum that have major political implications on the formal
negotiations.

To add to the conundrum, the confusion over the status of the Copenhagen
Accord has to be sorted out by January end. The hosts of the just-concluded
talks, Denmark, will soon be formally requesting countries to indicate if
they wish to be associated with the Copenhagen Accord. Under the UN
Framework Convention on Climate Change, the accord would have become a
legally binding agreement only if all the 192 member countries had signed
on to it. As four countries — Bolivia, Venezuela, Sudan and Tuvalu —
refused to accept the accord it became a ‘noted’ document of the
convention. It was decided that countries which wish to back it would be
given time to sign on to it.

Now the UNFCCC secretariat will receive the communications from countries
indicating their willingness to be associated with the accord. The list of
signatories would be ready by early 2010.

Even though India was one of the key countries to negotiate the accord, it
would be internally assessing the implications of formally standing by it
under the UN process. It still remains open if the government would decide
to take the accord to the cabinet for clearance before it formally accepts
it. Sources indicated the next month would see frenetic discussions to
resolve the new questions the Copenhagen Accord has raised.

The meeting of the BASIC four will also help cement a common position on
the accord and the procedural and larger implications of accepting it. The
consultations at various levels would also be required with other G77
developing countries, many of whom have already expressed reservations
about letting the accord become the template for future negotiations.

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One comment

  1. copenhagen… not the solution… the world still succumbed to the pendulous conditions



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