Friday, December 10, 2010

India's new climate policy - a layman's view

Cropped from image of Jairam Ramesh the Indian...Image via Wikipedia
Cancun has turned out to be something of a surprise as far as climate change is concerned. The world seemed deadlocked in the 'no change in the stance of developing countries' debate, especially so after the Copenhagen fiasco.

And then came Jairam Ramesh. India's charismatic environment minister with a hairdo, even David Beckham might find hard to pull off. When the Cancun conference on climate change was heading the Copenhagen way, he announced that India was after all willing to change its rigid anti-emission reduction stance and enter into a legally binding agreement for the same.

India has for a long time held a view that the developed countries contributed more to global warming than the developing ones. Something which is factually true. However the US and the other developed countries were of the view that India shouldnt take the same path to development that others have taken in the past. Hence, a complete U-turn of India's stand does come as a surprise.

India is an emerging superpower, or in the words of the current US President, India has already emerged! Now a legally binding stand on reducing emissions will take a hit on India's economy and growth. In a country which still has a large number of people living below the specified poverty limit, can we as a country afford to think about saving the greens? Arent we being burdened by a problem which has been created by the West? Why should India suffer because of their mismanagement and failed planning of the West?

Well, we could go on arguing about these. But frankly this will lead us nowhere. Decades of such discussions, confrontations and negotiations have yielded absolutely no results. Unfortunately these have left us with little option but to act, with immediate effect. It is the responsibility of everyone regardless of their contribution to the present climate scenario to chip in with whatever they can. However balancing growth and reducing emissions will be a tough act which will have to be addressed by the governments.

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