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Misplaced Triumphalism

Misplaced Triumphalism
Highlights

Amidst concerns of a breakdown, the Paris meet could finally come out with a deal. Some deal is always better than no deal.

Amidst concerns of a breakdown, the Paris meet could finally come out with a deal. Some deal is always better than no deal. But, the orchestrated triumphalism is misplaced .This is evident if one makes a reading between the lines as the devil lies in the detail. The self congratulatory statements By Indian leaders is nothing but playing into the Western propaganda machine that successfully fooled even the vulnerable nations.

The claim that the climate deal would limit the rise in temperatures to less than even the targeted 2 degrees Centigrade is a cruel hoax as the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions(INDC) submitted by all the countries if implemented would also leave the Earth with a 3 degrees Centigrade rise in global temperatures or even more. One should not confuse between ambitions and realities.

The positive aspect of the climate deal is the endorsement of the UNFCCC principle of common but differentiated responsibility. India has all along been advocating for this while the industrialised world was always intransigent on such a commitment.

This simply means all the countries share the responsibility of cutting down the emissions that cause global warming but the industrialised world which has deep pockets would shoulder greater responsibility in all the aspects of the effort like mitigation, adaptation and financing.

However, developed countries have not committed any significant finance or emission cuts before 2020 infact they have no legally binding targets on finance or emissions cuts or technology transfer.

The climate deal ignores polluter pay principle as the liability of countries which have historically accumulated green house gases in the atmosphere has been excluded by the deal. The industrialised countries have disproportionately contributed to the Green House Gas Emissions (GHGs) since the dawn of industrial era.

The deal does not talk about the past but only speaks about the future. The hidden danger of such an approach is the pressure to limit the emission in future would fall on the emerging economies like India, China and other large developing countries. This is precisely because the economic growth of the industrialised world has already reached peak emission levels. And the burden of the future obviously falls on these countries.

This is evident from the fact that the agreement has no reference to carbon budgeting and allocation of some quantum of emissions for developing nations. This undermines the right to development of countries like India. Otherwise, India and other large developing nations have to tread a costlier low carbon path.

This has a potential to undermine our economic growth. The Paris deal aims at shifting the polemics of climate change from a conflict between the responsibilities of the industrialised world and the rights of the developing world to that of a global crusade. Such predisposition can be a nice prose but deceptive politics.

Certainly there are significant gains at Paris, but the concerns are also equally significant. This would be further evident as one comes out of the euphoria of ambitions and confront the reality. Thus excessive exultation is uncalled for.

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