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India looking for compromise on MRV: That’s very positive!

November 30, 2010

From Point Carbon today. This is very positive for the outcome of Cancun:

Rich countries are expected to have their emission-reduction targets subject to international review.

But the US has said in order to ensure transparency, pledged domestic climate actions in developing countries should also be reviewed by an international body.

India, along with allies China and Brazil, had long opposed this condition, arguing that it violates their rights as independent nations.

But Ramesh has said in recent weeks that India would compromise on international MRV of its domestic actions in order to engage the US more actively in Cancun.

“The US has made it clear that it would not negotiate other issues such as on forestry and technology and adaptation unless we take up MRV,” Ramesh was quoted as saying in the Press Trust of India.

The Indian proposal is the first attempt in the UN negotiations to add detail to the general MRV requirements outlined in the Copenhagen accord, sources have said.

This is positive news because it potentially opens a door for the US and others to isolate China on an issue where it is holding up progress and that is what you need to get stuff agreed at Cancun. MRV agreements would help unlock progress towards financing, tech transfer, and even targets. Indeed the US has said as much as that it won’t accept anything short of a ‘balanced package’ – i.e.  no progress on financing, deforestation, technology transfer without progress on MRV and targets for developing countries (esp. China!). So India’s approach is a positive step forward towards a compromise on MRV that could unlock the door to these other issues and so maybe get a balanced package out of it after all. Very, very good.

Update: It seems I’m in very good intellectual company – Michael Levi agrees that isolating China is the best way for the US to push its goals at the Cancun summit.

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