Will India Wilt Under US Pressure in Cancun?
Published 29th November 2010 - 0 comments - 792 views -
K.N Vajpai, founder member of Prakriti Group, an Environmental Specialist and Theme Leader of ‘Climate Himalaya Initiative’ has recently written a nice blog post ('COP16: A Stepping-Stone to Real Climate Action-Reuters). He is optimistic and his post deals with a global perspective of Climate Change and UNFCCC’s initiatives on it.
But back home in India, the general enthusiasm about Cancun meet is in all time low. One day into the 14 day conference, it may not be inappropriate to recall what India’s political stand had been in Copenhagen. This is Mr. Jairam Ramesh, India’s ‘Mr. Green’ Minister for Environment and Forests, who created more debates than acceptance during COP15 both in home and overseas.
This was 27 August 2009, prior to Copenhagen.
It may be useful to recall what India’s focus regarding negotitaions in Copenhagen remained. This is Mr. Shyam Saran, Special Envoy to the Indian Prime Minister for Climate Change.
This was also 27 August 2009. Both the videos are from a workshop organized by Center for Science and Environment, a Delhi based NGO headed by Sunita Narain, an environmentalist and editor of India’s leading Environment Magazine, Down to Earth.
This is what were Sunita Narain’s experiences and feelings during COP15.
But it was then. What is it like now? Outlook India, one of India’s leading national magazine reports that “Keen to act as a "bridge" between developing and developed nations at the UN climate summit in Cancun beginning tomorrow, India has offered two proposals on the issues of monitoring of national emissions cuts and sharing of green technologies with poorer countries.”
This bridge business is complicated. Mr. Ramesh is preparing to “to engage in a system of monitoring, review and verifications/international consultation and analysis (MRV/ICA) of domestic climate actions which respects national sovereignty”.
And this is because “The US has made it clear that it would not negotiate other issues such as on forestry and technology and adaptation unless we take up MRV/ICA…”.
This is opposed by CSE as it feels that it would allow developed nations to send inspectors, or ask for records, to check compliance. "This will be cleverly couched in the terminology of 'international consultation', so that we still believe we are not being asked to take on commitments. But in return they (developed nations) are not even taking higher emission cuts," CSE head Sunita Narain said.
You can check the news here.
I find this to be too much compromise and not in the best interest of India. There is a distinct possibility that this will be seen as a change of stand from Copenhagen by Indian public. UNFCCC is an international platform of hard negotiations, where every country throws as much weight it can to push its national agenda. If this is what India is going to offer in Cancun, it will look like an early December Santa Claus. It is important to note that India-US relationship has new dynamics now: President Obama is troubled in his home and in his recent visit to India did some business of winning the promise of 54,000 US jobs from India.
I will keep my fingers firmly crossed till 15 December 2010.
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