India is all set to oppose the European Union’s move to bring about new green economy norms and set up a specialised body for environment, at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from June 20 to 22.
As many as 100 world leaders, including PM Manmohan Singh and US President Barack Obama, are expected to chart out new goals for sustainable development at the summit.The UN has prepared a zero draft of the outcome document — ‘The future we want’ — for the event.
The zero draft sets new green economy norms in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, besides bringing about new accounting norms to monitor the goals, converting the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) into a global specialised environment body, and setting up a global economic and social council. It also prescribes social development goals (SDGs) for 2030 in the place of millennium development goals – applicable till 2015.
The cabinet on Thursday approved a note from the environment ministry, explaining India’s belief that poverty eradication and social development should be overarching goals, green economy being one of the means to achieve them.
“Developed countries are pushing for development and adoption beyond GDP indicators, such as accounting of natural capital and social well-being, including human rights,” the note said, adding that the developing world does not support such indicators.
The note said the EU was quite ambitious about green economy, and has put “undue” focus on environmental dimensions – ignoring socio-economic issues. The EU’s position will slow down the economic growth of India through environmental restrictions, the ministry said. India is also apprehensive about the EU’s position on adopting SDGs without any international financing, terming it as an attempt to “blunt” competition from developing economies.
The ministry has sought the cabinet’s approval to oppose the new green economy norms and finalisation of thematic SDGs, stating that only a process aimed at working out the goals in a more “inclusive” manner would be acceptable.