Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Canada's Environment Minister Peter Kent addresses the media at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP17) in Durban December 6, 2011. The city is hosting the conference which runs until December 9.

ROGAN WARD/Reuters

Read updates from Globe and Mail reporter Geoffrey York in Durban

With exhausted negotiators still unable to reach agreement at the Durban climate talks, Canadian environment minister Peter Kent is defending himself against a scathing attack from an Indian minister who was angered by Canada's criticism of the major developing nations.

The clash between Mr. Kent and the big developing nations -- including India and China -- is emblematic of the acrimony that has clouded the Durban negotiations, which went into overtime today. More than 24 hours after the talks were scheduled to end, there is still no sign of an agreement at Durban, and the length of the negotiations is setting a record for any of the annual summits since the Kyoto Protocol was negotiated in 1997.

Story continues below advertisement

On Friday, there was an extraordinary war of words between Mr. Kent and the Indian environment minister, Jayanthi Natarajan. According to a report in the Times of India, Ms. Natarajan said she was "astonished and disturbed" that the Canadian government had signed the Kyoto climate treaty and then "junked" the treaty "in a cavalier manner…without even a polite goodbye." She also complained that Canada was unfairly blaming India for the latest disputes in the Durban negotiations.

Mr. Kent, speaking to journalists at Durban today, acknowledged that he had complained about the "lack of commitment and movement" by the BASIC group of countries, which includes China, India, Brazil and South Africa.

"The very low-key gentle remark to which there was an overreaction last night basically said that Canada supported ... that there needed to be a sense of urgency," Mr. Kent said. "We also supported the EU proposal generally for a roadmap – although we were dismayed by the lack of commitment and movement by the BASIC countries. We didn't finger-point at individual countries. There was a certain obvious sensitivity, and I think it was an overreaction."

Mr. Kent noted that Canada has repeatedly called on the major emitting countries – including China and India – to begin reducing their emissions. "When one is in frank and honest discussions trying to achieve a major accomplishment, one speaks directly to one's friends and trading partners," he said. "If there's a problem, it's in the reaction, I think."

In an interview on Friday night, Mr. Kent sharply criticized China's role in the negotiations. "China has made it pretty clear for the past few months that they're obstructing," he said. He said China was largely responsible for an early draft agreement that would have postponed the implementation of a new climate treaty "after 2020." He added: "They're not in favour of anything that would require them to make absolute reductions. They have been very reluctant to step up and have been against just about everything that's been raised at the COPs [climate talks]this year."

The extension of the Durban negotiations today, more than 24 hours after the talks were scheduled to end, is making history for the longest-ever climate talks, and might even continue for another day, Mr. Kent said. But the marathon talks have become "characteristic" of how the climate summits achieve results, he said.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies