Drafts update – Africa, BASICS seek to counter official draft

Won´t break deal or bag fossil award, says Jairam Ramesh

Its been a week of drafts at COP-15, kicked off by the (in)famous Danish text published in the Guardian, followed by Le Monde publishing a draft apparently prepared by the larger developing countries — Brazil, South Africa, India and China (BASICs) — to counter the Danish text.

And on Friday, the official drafts of the two ad-hoc working groups on the Kyoto Protocol and on long-term cooperation were circulated to the delegates.

But that is not the last of drafts. The BASICs and African countries have issues with the official drafts, and are now working together to merge their respective drafts into a cohesive document representing developing countries’ stand.

The combined African-BASIC draft will be ready by Saturday morning, says India’s environment minister Jairam Ramesh. This, for now, sets to rest speculation of cracks within the G-77 + China bloc.

Ramesh indicated India has some serious concerns regarding the official draft. These concern setting definite emissions targets for developing countries, and setting global goals for emissions reduction without equitable burden sharing.

We want an agreement that does not violate the basic principles of UNFCCC, Kyoto Protocol and Bali Action Plan, says Ramesh.

My brief is to position India as a deal maker,” he adds. He is also wary of bagging the Climate Action Network’s “Fossil of the Day” award given daily to three worst countries obstructing negotiations.

T V Padma, South Asia Regional Coordinator, SciDev.Net

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