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Delhi Declaration revised under pressure

Our Bureau

NEW DELHI, Nov. 1

WITH some delegations making no bones in expressing their unhappiness over the initial draft of the Delhi Declaration on climate change, a revised version was announced here on Thursday, at the UN climate convention. It revised draft has also made a mention of the Kyoto Protocol and the commitments it laid out on reducing global warming.

Reference to the Kyoto accord — a treatise that lays down environment-related commitments from different countries, ratified by over 100 countries and poised to come into force next year — was conspicuous by its absence in the first draft. Delegations like the EU had not minced words in expressing their unhappiness with the first draft.

"Parties that have ratified the Kyoto Protocol should urge parties that have not already done so as to ratify the Kyoto Protocol in a timely manner," the revised draft cited as one of the many steps needed to deal with climate change.

The 1997 Kyoto pact aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions from the developed world by 2012 to 5.2 per cent below 1990 levels. But the US, the world's biggest polluter, has refused to ratify the pact, saying it would hurt its economy.

Some of the 185 nations participating in the convention here saw the absence of a reference to the Kyoto pact as being due to the US pressure. However, the Union Environment Minister, Mr T.R. Baalu, who presided over the conference, said the conference would discuss the revised draft later on Thursday before it was adopted on Friday.

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