Rich wrongly blame poor on climate: India

COPENHAGEN Thu Dec 17, 2009 5:07am EST

The woman walks by sculptures of globe in Copenhagen December 17, 2009. Copenhagen is the host city for the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009, which lasts from December 7 until December 18. REUTERS/Pawel Kopczynski

The woman walks by sculptures of globe in Copenhagen December 17, 2009. Copenhagen is the host city for the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009, which lasts from December 7 until December 18.

Credit: Reuters/Pawel Kopczynski

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - India said on Thursday rich countries were set to launch a "propaganda campaign" wrongly blaming poor nations if a U.N. summit in Copenhagen failed to reach a deal to combat global warming.

"We are aware that the western countries will now launch a propaganda campaign to hold developing countries responsible," Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh told Reuters.

"This is wrong, this is mischievous. This is not the time for mutual recriminations," he said as leaders gathered for a closing summit on Thursday and Friday.

"It's only a matter of time before the blame game starts," he said, adding that some developed nations were already accusing developing nations of blocking an accord.

Ramesh, however, faulted host nation Denmark for the impasse at the December 7-18 conference.

"The process adopted here in Copenhagen has been deeply flawed," he said. "A trust deficit has accumulated and no effort has been made by Denmark to remove that trust deficit."

He said that Denmark had asked British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to chair a small group of developed nations to try to work out a political declaration for about 120 leaders at the summit.

But Ramesh said the text had not been shared with other nations that would have to sign up. "Until this morning we don't know the content of the text that the heads of state are supposed to see tomorrow, the so-called Copenhagen outcome," he said.

"We were repeatedly promised that a draft would be shown to us. But those promises have not been fulfilled," he said.

"I am still hopeful that during the course of the day we might be able to salvage something but the continued reluctance of the Danes to reveal the political text to the ministers is most baffling," he said.

Earlier a western official said China had told participants it saw no possibility of achieving a detailed accord to tackle global warming. He said that China had instead suggested issuing "a short political declaration of some sort."

(Reporting by Krittivas Mukherjee, writing by Alister Doyle, editing by Janet McBride)

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