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Saran: US, UK Tried To Divide Developing Nations At Copenhagen

Shyam Saran, who was the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on climate change, has said that at the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit in December last year, the developed world had tried hard to break the unity of the developing countries and also derail the mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol.

The US and the UK were part of the group trying to derail the Kyoto protocol and separate the developing world, he said. “Obama and Gordon Brown at one point gave a look to Bangladesh’s Sheikh Hasina. This was an attempt to say that the stand taken by the BASIC group (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) would harm the interests of the least developed countries,” he said, adding that the developed countries were not keen on parting with funds. “We didn’t want to dilute the Kyoto Protocol and the United Nations mechanisms,” he said.

The divide was deepened as some of the climate change vulnerable countries fell for what the West was saying. “Unfortunately, some countries like small island states and Africa fell in line with the formulation of the developed world as they are not familiar with the negotiations. They fell in line with an unusual aggressiveness,” he said.

India was not happy with the figure quoted by the US for financial aid. “The figure of $100 billion is a paltry sum. We also objected to a US proposal for money to flow from more private corporate sources. We don’t need a treaty to have money coming from the corporate world. But we had to compromise with this sum as the African nations agreed to it,” Saran said.

He also revealed that the developed world was already aware of the text of the Copenhagen Accord. “Denmark had already announced that the agreement would only be political. This put the developing world at a disadvantage. The Copenhagen Accord is a compromise,” he said.

Indian Express, 21 March 2010