Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh told Parliament Tuesday that a coordinated approach by India, China, Brazil and South Africa enabled them to thwart what he calls "relentless efforts" by rich countries to impose legally binding targets for carbon emission cuts.
Ramesh says India can be satisfied that the four emerging economies - called the BASIC group of countries - got their way on the issue in Copenhagen.
"This is a very, very important achievement," he noted. "There is no mention whatsoever of a new legally binding instrument because this was clearly the intention of many European countries."
Ramesh says the four countries have emerged as a powerful force in climate-change negotiations, which are to continue until a summit is held in Mexico, next year.
The Copenhagen summit set a commitment to limit global warming to two degrees. But many people fighting climate change were disappointed because it failed to spell out specific targets that will enable the world to hold down temperatures.
Developed countries want commitments on carbon emission reductions made by countries like India and China to be subject to international scrutiny. But developing countries have insisted that these pledges remain voluntary.
Ramesh told Parliament that the final accord at Copenhagen safeguards the rights of developing countries.
He expressed satisfaction that India's commitment to cut its carbon emissions will not be subject to international verification.
"Mitigation actions of the developing countries will be subject to domestic measurement, domestic reporting and domestic verification, as per its internal procedures," he said.
Ramesh expressed confidence that India could not only meet its pledge of cutting carbon emissions by 20 to 25 percent by 2020 over 2005 levels, but could even improve upon it.
He says India will continue to adopt a constructive approach to the issue of climate change.
India is among the countries which could be adversely impacted by rising global temperatures. But, like other developing countries, it is wary that cutting carbon emissions will hamper it growing economy and insists that rich countries should bear the brunt of reducing greenhouse gases.