Tiger must crawl out of Dragon shadow

  • Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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  • Updated: Dec 11, 2012 23:29 IST

India may have got what it wanted from the Doha climate talks, but piggybacking on China may not be of much help in the future. The reason? China’s emission levels are growing at a much faster pace than that of India.

India was able to regain lost ground by getting equity and common-but-differentiated responsibility (CBDR), with respective capabilities, back on the negotiating track after two years. However, non-inclusion of historical responsibility could mean that though countries such as India may have to cut emissions that cause global warming, it would be a lesser degree than the developed world.

The two-week-long climate talks focused on the changing dynamics of global geo-politics, with poorer nations supporting the developed world’s claim that even emerging economies need to cut emission if global warming is to be restricted to two degree centigrade by the end of this century.

The United States had refused to agree to any future climate deal if emerging economies such as India and China refused to undergo mandatory emission cuts. “We are for the pledge and review system,” US chief climate negotiator Todd Stern said at the closing plenary in Doha.

“The US delegation has made its complete aversion to any mention of the words ‘equity’ or ‘historical emissions’ very clear. Its stand almost equals open blackmail,” said Sunita Narain of the Centre for Science and Environment.

In a nutshell – the Doha conference shows that India needs to seriously re-think its strategy if it intends to checkmate the bigger bullies on the field.


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