Sunday, August 30, 2009

Why India should not agree on carbon emissions?

Though this post was planned as the continuation of my earlier posts, the real inspiration to write this post came on reading this article from The Economist. Some of the facts on climate change -

  1. India is the fourth largest carbon emitter in the world. See link
  2. That is India account for 5% of the total world carbon emission. Whereas US and China accounts for a total of 40% of the world's total emission. Adding Russia and European Union's contribution the total comes to whopping 61%.
  3. If we consider the carbon emissions per head then India lies at 139th position. See link

Well this sums up the entire post. :)

All the countries especially the US, Russia and the European Union have exploited the environment without giving a thought to the environment. Even China had started growing from the 1970s period. India on the other hand has started the last in terms of sustained economic development. Thus when India starts developing, world especially developed countries wants India to curb its growth by putting cap on its emissions.

All the world literature surrounding the Copenhagen conference in December, 2009 is pushing India to a corner and making it a villain in the whole scheme of things. In this endeavor, at the forefront is the US which still has not signed the Kyoto protocol. It has come up with a declaration to cut its emission by 80% by 2050. But here it expects the world to follow suit by cutting the emissions by 50%. On the other hand countries like Russia, Japan, Canada and European Union members have agreed to cut their emissions to 15-21% below the 1990 levels. This again excludes US & China who contributes 40% of the total emissions. See link.

So the argument that India should follow suit denies opportunity to India or the other developing countries to grow.

Another bone of contention is the transfer of clean technology. Here again, the developed countries are not promising free transfer of clean technology to the developing countries. This despite the fact the current world's climate is the entire making of the western economies who ruthlessly exploited Mother Nature.

Again I do not deny that India should not cut its emission. (Check out my previous post.)India needs to cut its emission but that cannot be imposed by the world's richest countries. More Indians are aware about the impact of GHG than most people of other democracies. Additionally, India has a vibrant democracy - the nature of which it will ensure imposition of carbon-emission cuts.

Still this leaves out the current scenario. Are the developed countries pledging to help the developing countries to tackle the current problems that have arisen due to their past activities?? The answer is a big "NO". So in any case the pressure on India is completely unjust and it does looks like bullying by developed countries.

For example, most of India depends on agriculture. Any climate change will impact agriculture. So the issue of climate change will feature in every Indian’s mind. Already there is a talk of inclusive growth - inclusive meaning the climate as well and this as come from none other than India's Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.

So the western countries instead putting pressure needs to first tackle US which still won't curb its emission until India agrees to cap its emission (meaning growth). In a nutshell, India does not need the western powers to tell of its responsibilities. It is fully aware of it. What they can do is help India in getting access to cleaner technologies so that would help India in preserving its and the world’s environment.

Ending the post on another old saying –

Those living in houses of glass should not throw stones at other people’s houses.

PS: - Message to US - First implement and then preach. At least members of European Union have implemented some of the decisions.

PPS: The image is for the year 2006. At present India has surpassed Japan in its emission.