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It is also significant that it was deemed necessary to launch a new process. The Bali Action Plan, 2007, which launched a process to reach an "agreed outcome" on long-term cooperative action on climate change could have offered the basis for a new climate regime. The Bali Action Plan, however, is interpreted by developing countries as creating a firewall between developed country commitments and developing country actions. In a bid to move away from the Bali firewall, the US, among others, insisted on a new process, and on terminating the Bali process in 2012. Durban delivered the new process and with it, a clean slate on differentiation. The mandate will be negotiated in 2012.
It might be useful for India in future to use equity not as a shield, as it has thus far, to guard (ineffectively) against commitments, but as a sword to actively shape the agenda for climate action post-2020. Had India signalled a willingness to consider a legally binding instrument before it was compelled to, it could have harnessed the goodwill thus generated to ensure a central role for equity. This was not to be in Durban, but India may yet, with some re-orientation of its negotiating strategy, recover lost ground in the mandate discussions.
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