PM Manmohan Singh, Wen may skip Copenhagen Nitin Sethi, TNN 14 December 2009, 06:00am ISTText Size:|Topics:Kyoto greenhouse COPENHAGEN: At 55 degrees and 43 minutes north, the winter sun sets early in Copenhagen, plunging the city into a cold grey gloom that only Twitter Facebook Share Email Print Save Comment Christmas celebrations can lift. But on Sunday, the chilling news that climate change talks could break down completely spread far deeper dismay in the Danish capital. Negotiators and ministers from 192 countries took the day off from formal talks to discuss the looming possibility that they could fail the world in its search for an equitable and scientifically adequate agreement to prevent disastrous climate change. The chances of a stalemate loomed large as governments went into informal huddles over the weekend. The ministerial round that began on Saturday only added to the fear that industrialised countries were not ready to budge from their stands and the negotiations were headed towards a collapse. The Indian and the Chinese governments made it clear that their leaders, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Premier Wen Jiabao, were not going to come in at the end of the talks to crack the fine details, they would agree only if the industrialised world was ready for a deal by December 16. Many industrialised countries remained firm in their stand that Kyoto Protocol must die and emerging economies must undertake international obligations under one name or the other regardless of their historical burden of emitting greenhouse gases, or the lack of it. Environment minister Jairam Ramesh, in between an array of parleys and closed-door discussions, came out to say, “The UN draft on low-term cooperation (LCA) can become the roadmap for fighting climate change, provided the clauses of peaking year for emissions, cutdown on emissions by all and a review of domestic mitigation actions are not there.’’ However, he added that a few agreed on the point. Rumours flew fast and thick that if the US could not secure a weak “pledge and review’’ kind of agreement that it had been supporting for months, President Barack Obama may give the meet a miss. The industrialised countries want to hammer out a large part of the deal on the last day when the heads of states arrive. "It is ridiculous to expect the heads of states of poor countries to have the capacity to deal at such detailed level. It’s a ploy to slip in provisions that are not amenable to developing country efforts. It’s playing dirty,’’ said an African negotiator. “Europe and Japan have refused to sign any agreement without the US on board with strong mitigation commitments and the latter refuses to be part of Kyoto,’’ Ramesh said. “India will not allow Kyoto to be discarded and India wants an agreement.’’ Ramesh has rejected the Australian proposal that the heads of states and ministers should decide the final text for the political statement to be made on December 18, a day after they announce their domestic climate plans. On Sunday, when most negotiators rested and waited for Monday, it became evident that all the positive domestic announcements of emerging economies like India, China, Brazil and South Africa, days ahead of the talks, had still not got Obama to turn less Bush or for the Europeans and other industrialised countries to depend less on the US president for deliverance.