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Jairam Ramesh urges pared down climate deal
COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Nations should scale down ambitions for a global climate deal in Copenhagen in December rather than have "exaggerated expectations", minister of state for environment and forests Jairam Ramesh said on Saturday.
Ramesh said climate talks in Bangkok, which ended on Friday, had left a big gap in trust between developing and industrialised nations.
"We have to be realistic, we have to be pragmatic," Ramesh said. "We should not derail Copenhagen by having exaggerated expectations. Let us clinch those elements of the deal that we can clinch."
He said countries may need to come back to Copenhagen after December to reach a wider deal.
India insists it will not accept binding greenhouse gas emissions cuts but will adopt nationally appropriate mitigation actions.
Ramesh suggested instead of binding emissions cuts, governments should now focus on agreeing on three main areas: finance for adaptation to climate change, a deal to combat deforestation and promote forestation, and technology sharing.
"Even the United States is in agreement on these three issues," Ramesh told an editors' meeting in the Danish capital with 57 days left until about 190 governments are due to convene the U.N. climate change conference there on Dec. 7-18, seeking a deal to replace the Kyoto Protocol that expires in 2012.
Ramesh warned against what he called the "mistake of the Doha round" of trade talks. "The basic problem of the Doha round was 'all or nothing,'" he said. The trade talks began in 2001 and there is still no deal.
Ramesh said India would go a step beyond nationally appropriate mitigation actions, dubbed "NAMAs", and pass domestic legislation in areas such as fuel efficiency standards and possibly environmental building codes.
Ramesh blamed the European Union for abandoning the basic structure of the Kyoto Protocol and said it was up to the EU to bridge the lack of trust after the Bangkok talks.
The Kyoto pact contains binding emissions reductions targets for rich countries but does not include hard targets for developing countries.
"It is the European Union that has given the impression in Bangkok that it is ready to abandon the basic architecture of the Kyoto Protocol to accommodate the United States," he said.
"Recent events in Bangkok have cast a long shadow over what is going to happen in the Copenhagen negotiations," Ramesh said.
Only one more week of negotiations -- in Barcelona next month -- remain before negotiators move to Copenhagen.
(Editing by Janet Lawrence)
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