After being blamed for the failure of last year's climate change talks in Copenhagen, India has expressed willingness to tone down its demands in the next round, due to begin at the end of the month in Mexico.
Failure at the impending Cancun negotiations is likely to lead to the lapse of the landmark carbon-cutting agreement signed in the Japanese city of Kyoto 13 years ago.
"We are running out of time, Cancun is the last chance. The credibility of the climate-change mechanism is at stake," Jairam Ramesh said at the conclusion of one of the preparatory multinational meetings in Delhi, ahead of the Cancun Summit that starts of November 29.
Ramesh indicated that India is willing to ease its negotiating position in Mexico, after having been widely blamed -- along with China -- for preventing the adoption of a legally binding agreement in Copenhagen.
Brazil, South Africa, India and China, known as the BASIC countries, had countered plans by developed countries such as the US to pass a legally binding emission-reduction agreement in the last negotiations.
The BASICs had come up with their own draft resolution, resulting in the failure of the conference of 192 countries to come up with a binding agreement to tackle climate change.
While the US and some other developed countries wanted emission cuts to be applicable to developing countries, the BASIC countries opposed the move fearing that such a move would dampen their economic growth.
A failure at Cancun too, however, threatens to undermine the efforts of the first such agreement - signed in Kyoto in 1997 -- that imposed emission cutting norms on developed countries only.
The treaty that required 39 industrialized countries to cut their carbon emissions by 5.2% from their 1991 levels has already been ratified by 187 countries (not the US), but is due to lapse in December 2012.
India and other developing countries, who are loathe to let the Kyoto treaty lapse, have softened their stand in the last ten months after countries like the US have stuck to theirs.
US, despite being headed by a 'green' President Barack Obama, has said it will not accept binding emission cuts on itself unless China and India -- the fastest growing polluters -- also do so.
Ramesh said he would push very hard for a credible and operational outcome from the Cancun event, including an extension of the Kyoto protocol.
"All the countries have made changes in their positions, barring a couple of developed ones, and shown considerable flexibility," he said, hoping that Cancun will not see a repeat of Copenhagen.