Press rich countries to fund green technology
By The New Indian Express | Published: 26th November 2013 01:18 AM |
It will be a mistake to welcome the agreement reached at the UN climate change talks in Poland since it is couched in vague terms whose sole purpose was to avoid a breakdown of the negotiations. As such, it can be argued that no substantial progress has been made to solve a problem that can become life-threatening for future generations if the global warming caused by uncontrolled carbon emissions reaches an irreversible stage. The vagueness of the compromise that was hammered out can be gauged from the fact that the developed countries, which are the prime culprits for refusing to take corrective measures even when the fact of global warming was proved, resisted giving a commitment on providing $ 100 billion to the developing world by 2020 to enable it to make the transition to “green” technologies.
On their part, the developing countries, especially India and China, were right in declining to give a pledge to reduce carbon emissions since they still have a long way to go to catch up with the industrialised West. India and China also had a point in insisting on referring to a 1992 UN convention that calls upon only the advanced countries to reduce the emissions. Considering how the West’s, and especially America’s, extravagant lifestyle patterns have created the problem in the first place, a reminder of their criminal negligence of the need to behave with restraint was entirely in order.
While the call for reducing deforestation is timely, the so-called Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage for developing countries, which will fund their efforts to adapt to climate change, is useful only up to a point as they will need more to cope with extreme events such as Typhoon Haiyan. New Delhi should realise these compromises are not major breakthroughs and bigger battles lie ahead. It should lead the developing world’s campaign to put greater pressure on the rich nations.