No ‘transparency’, no climate deal: Hillary Clinton

By Joydeep Gupta, IANS,

Copenhagen: There will be no accord at the climate summit unless emerging economies take “decisive actions” to combat global warming that can be “operationalised in an international code” in a transparent manner, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Thursday.

Support TwoCircles

Clinton named China but appeared to include India, South Africa and Brazil too as she said there must be “standards of transparency that provides credibility to the entire process” of moving towards a treaty to tackle climate change.

India’s Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh quickly reacted: “I agree with her 75 percent, but not fully.”

The bone of contention is the US insistence on international scrutiny of actions taken by emerging economies to make their economies greener. China and India have opposed this strongly in the past, saying this was against sovereignty.

At a crowded press conference on the penultimate day of the Dec 7-18 summit, Clinton made a “transparency mechanism” the condition both for an accord and for the $100 billion a year she promised to put together by 2020 to help poor countries cope with climate change effects.

“The agreement has interlocking pieces that must go together,” she said. “No commitment to transparency is a deal breaker.”

Asked if she expected China to change its stance and allow international scrutiny of its domestic actions, Clinton said unless China took steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and did so in a manner transparent to the international community, the $100 billion fund she had promised would not be forthcoming.

After Clinton’s press conference, Martin Kaiser of the international NGO Greenpeace expressed disappointment because she “failed to announce any increase in US emissions reduction targets. She also continued to resist and duck calls for a legally binding agreement, announcing instead that the US wants an operational accord in Copenhagen and a politically binding agreement in 2010.

“The inadequate US emissions reduction target of 3 percent by 2020 (at 1990 levels) and continued resistance to support a legally binding agreement remain major blockages to a successful outcome. President Barack Obama must deliver both when he arrives on Friday,” Kaiser said.