So, with China now unilaterally committing to a 40% reduction in emissions in conjunction with President Obama’s intent of going to Copenhagen with hard emission cut proposals for the the United States, India is facing heat to comply.
The foreign office and the environment ministry seem caught a little unawares – and there are different proclamations from different parts of the government, as is often wont of any Indian government.
The author feels that its a good thing – its something the Indian government has to come terms to – that we live in a very networked world and such actions need to have a little more foresight than Indian governments are typically used to.
Most importantly, its time the Indian political class came to terms with the fact that global warming, if left uncontrolled will have much more catastrophic implications for India ( with its low and receding water tables and huge population) than a number of other countries.
That being said, it is difficult not being sympathetic to the BRIC objections to binding emission controls. Per Capita emissions of the United States and the rest of the western world is significantly higher than that of India, China and Brazil. And the western world has primarily been responsible for all the damage to the environment.
However, this being the only planet we have – solutions need to be worked out. This could include technology transfer from the west, credit markets being made available for re-tooling that would be inevitably required in India’s (and China’s and Brazil’s) industries and energy sources.
Readers of the forum are aware that the author is not a big fan of the authoritarian Chinese government – however, for a nation so dependant on heavy industries and export to commit to unilateral emission control is commendable.
And finally, before we all get carried away, the very next day, there was a report on how India, China and Brazil have decided to stage a common walkout of Copenhagen in the event that the Western countries tried to push their agenda through (which, unfortunately, they have been all too guilty off, just too many times; just that they cant get away with it anymore).
Lets hope that sanity prevails. For the sake of the Earth. And all of us.