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Climate deal sealed, PM on his way back home

Climate deal sealed, PM on his way back home

US, India, China seal deal on climate change | Complete text

Copenhagen: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday left for India after attending the UN Summit for Climate Change in Copenhagen.

In an overnight development, the BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) countries sealed a deal on climate change with the US.

Singh, who arrived in Copenhagen on Friday to join leaders from over 110 countries, delayed his departure by about five hours as he went back to the summit venue to hold negotiations with leaders of China, Brazil and South Africa.

The leaders of the four countries also held a meeting with US President Barack Obama on Friday night, who later said they have reached a “legally non-binding meaningful” deal to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Obama said three components - transparency, mitigation and finance - form the basis of the common approach that the United States, India, China and other major emerging economies embraced in Copenhagen.

“Today we've made meaningful and unprecedented breakthrough here (Copenhagen),” Obama told reporters after a meeting with Singh and leaders of China, Brazil and South Africa.

The US President said he and BASIC countries agreed to set a mitigation target to limit warming to no more than two degrees Celsius, and importantly, to take action to meet this objective consistent with science.

A US official, however, maintained that “no country is entirely satisfied with agreement, but it is a historic step forward to be built on later”.

Speaking at the plenary session of the summit on Friday, Singh had made it clear that future negotiations on tackling the menace should be based on equitable burden sharing as enshrined in Kyoto Protocol and Bali mandate.

“We have a difficult task ahead of us. I hope we will all play a positive and constructive role so that we can bridge differences and come up with a balance and also an equitable outcome during the coming years. India will not be found wanting in this regard. I thank you,” the PM said after sealing a deal with BASIC countries and the US.

Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh was also happy with the sealing of the deal.

“I am happy that this alliance of BASIC has worked. This is a good deal not just for India but for the BASIC alliance. We will cooperate with them not just on climate change but other diplomatic issues,” he said.

Meanwhile, Shyam Saran, the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on Climate Change, is not accompanying Singh to New Delhi. He’ll be in Copenhagen to “fine tune” the agreement.