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After Copenhagen Fiasco, EU Plays With New Negotiating Strategy

The failure to reach a deal at Copenhagen has prompted the European Union (EU) to evolve a fresh negotiating strategy on climate talks and this will be conveyed to India by visiting EU Commissioner for Climate Action Conni Hedegaard. The EU has decided to approach the climate talks on a step-by-step basis and try to get an agreement on less contentious issues first. “We will push for an agreement in areas where there is a broad consensus,” Hedegaard said.

She said she would convey the same to Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh when she calls on him tomorrow. However, Hedegaard insisted that there was no change in the EU strategy on climate talks but only an attempt to develop a new negotiating dynamic.

“We do not want repeat of Copenhagen in Cancun,” she said. The climate talks in Copenhagen last year failed to reach a legally binding agreement to tackle global warming and will resume in Bonn tomorrow.

Several round of talks are expected to be held this year before the finale at Cancun in Mexico in December.

About a fortnight back, EU president Herman Van Rompuy said that the 27-member EU now believes that it needs to press other parts of the world to tackle climate change step-by-step — which means they would temporarily cool a big push for other regions to sign a pact curbing global warming.

The European governments have also decided to strengthen their country’s outreach to other countries by addressing climate change at all regional and bilateral meetings and also at major international gatherings such as the G-20.

Hedegaard has already visited the US and Mexico last month and has also held deliberations with the Chinese delegations in Brussels.

Before coming to India late last night, the top EU climate official has visited Sri Lanka and the Maldives. In a discussion with Ramesh, Hedegaard will underline the need for action-oriented decisions to be reached at the UN climate conference at the end of the year in Mexico.

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