Remember ME - You Me and Dementia

Saturday, May 8, 2010

India to First World: ‘You pollute, we restrain’ won’t work

India has made it clear that the global goal of limiting temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius would be acceptable if the available carbon pace -- the total amount of carbon that can be spewed into the atmosphere -- is shared between developed and developing countries in an equitable manner, taking into account the history of emissions by developed countries.

“Global atmospheric resource is the common property of all mankind and each human being has an equal entitlement to use of this resource on the basis of per capita accumulative convergence of emissions,” New Delhi said in its submission to the working group that is finalising long-term actions that need to be taken to tackle climate change.

The submission is rooted in the position formulated by the BASIC countries at a recently concluded meeting in Cape Town. The submission clearly anchors India within the G77 and China, regarded as the developing country bloc.

Per capita emissions, as enshrined in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, have been at the heart of India’s argument in the climate debate. However, the Copenhagen Accord, which India helped finalise, only mentioned ‘equity’ and was vague about whether this equity had to be ensured through per capita.

New Delhi has also rejected the idea of defining a ‘peak year’ for emissions for developing countries. The Copenhagen Accord said that countries needed to cooperate in achieving the peaking of global and national emissions “recognising that the timeframe for peaking will be longer in developing countries”.

“Considering the fact that emissions in developing countries are bound to rise in the course of eradication of poverty and social and economic development, there can be no ‘peaking year’ for their emissions,” it said.

India and the United States were among the key players involved in formulating the Copenhagen Accord. The US has been pushing to make the Accord the basis for negotiations, a move resisted by developing countries.

The US submission once again makes the case for making the Accord the basis for negotiations. It states that the ad hoc working group on long-term cooperation (AWG-LCA) under the convention was not able to “crack through” certain “crunch issues” and that the Copenhagen Accord “was the locus of progress”.

India repudiates this position. It makes clear that the Accord is a “political understanding among the participants” which should facilitate the two-track process of negotiations under the long-term cooperative action (Bali track) and Kyoto Protocol.

Meanwhile, Germany’s top newspaper Spiegel has released audio transcripts claiming India and China forced western countries on their knees at the Copenhagen climate meet held last year.

In the article (, Spiegel says it has obtained secret recordings which show ‘China and India prevented an agreement on tackling climate change at the crucial meeting. The powerless Europeans were forced to look on as the agreement failed’.

The article describes in three parts minute-by-minute discussions and how the Europeans felt deceived at the hands of the emerging powers -- India and China. The meeting ended without a proper conclusion.

It added that China and India, behind the backs of the Europeans, had apparently reached their own agreement with Brazil and South Africa. “China and India have not been in best of relations but at a crucial juncture they joined hands, a move that no European leaders anticipated.”


Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

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