India: a major player and constructive force in Durban

by Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action The Durban conference in December 2011 marks a breakthrough in international efforts to combat climate change. The European Union and India played a key role in the final negotiations that unlocked the agreement on the last morning of the conference. Together, we found the compromise that provided the basis for launching negotiations on a new global legal framework for climate action the world so badly needs. It is no secret that the European Union wanted the Durban Platform to be about developing either a protocol or another legal instrument. India wanted to add "a legal outcome" as a third possibility. The EU felt this was too weak. At around 3am on Sunday the South African presidency of the conference asked the EU and India, plus other interested parties, to "huddle" together and sort out our differences. Minister Jayanthi Natarajan and I agreed on the formula "an agreed outcome with legal force". While protecting our respective interests we both gave a bit of ground to get a good result for the global community. That is what UN negotiations are about. This is what a successful outcome for almost 200 different Parties looks like. The EU believes the new global framework must be legally binding because this provides the strongest possible signal that countries will follow through on their commitments. This is vital to give confidence that all will deliver and to enable all of us to increase our commitments to the level of ambition science requires. A voluntary "pledge and review" system would not provide these assurances. Of course developed countries must do more and earlier. But in today's interdependent world, what we all countries promise to do must have equal legal weight ...Zum vollständigen Artikel

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