According to today’s edition of The Hindu, South Africa has broken with its BASIC (Brazil, India and China) partners by demanding that the new global agreement on climate change be in the form of a protocol with targets, commitments and actions for all parties. India is, predictably, unhappy.

The new South African position “is a mix of what the BASIC has asked for as well as what the EU is advocating, in that it has strayed from the joint position the four countries had taken till date,” an Indian negotiator involved with the talks till last year told The Hindu.


Brazil and South Africa have always been seen by the Indians as the countries most likely to accept European insistence on an extension of the Kyoto Protocol to emerging economies. India thinks China is likely to hold the line because, like India, its vast population means that it has very low per capita emissions. Other commentators think that China may come to love mandatory emission targets once it has dominated most renewable energy industries.