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Revisit the deal

Revisit the deal
Highlights

The world is rightly dismayed over the United States pulling out of Paris climate deal. In fact, this deal on mitigating the risks of global warming by cutting down emissions of Green House Gases (GHGs) was weakened to get the US in. Now, that Washington is out of it, the world nations should show greater resolve to arrive at a much broader and legally binding climate agreement. Otherwise, they wo

The world is rightly dismayed over the United States pulling out of Paris climate deal. In fact, this deal on mitigating the risks of global warming by cutting down emissions of Green House Gases (GHGs) was weakened to get the US in. Now, that Washington is out of it, the world nations should show greater resolve to arrive at a much broader and legally binding climate agreement. Otherwise, they would be endangering the globe.

The United States which is often fond of imposing sanctions on every other country on the pretext of imposing so-called international agreements cannot be allowed to go scot-free. The international community should start discussing how they can impose sanctions on Uncle Sam for endangering the climate deal.

The world may not be firm and courageous enough to impose sanctions on the imperial power, now. But, this debate would make the world do so at least after some more years when multipolarity becomes a reality.

There should be sanctions for pulling out of the deal. There should also be costs if one wants to rejoin. Otherwise, the survival of many such international deals would be vulnerable to domestic political changes.

The climate deal would not limit the rise in temperatures to less than even the targeted 2 degrees Celsius as the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) of all the countries, if implemented, would also leave the Earth with a 3 degrees Celsius rise in global temperatures or even more. Now, with the withdrawal of United Sates, the deal would be much weaker.

However, the positive aspect of the deal is the endorsement of the 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 aspects of the efforts like mitigation, adaptation and financing.

Trump calling India and China major polluters is a clear abdication of this principle envisaged by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The maverick outbursts of US President are unabashed attempts to hide Washington’s culpability in environmental destruction.

The developed countries have not committed any significant finance or emission cuts before 2020. In fact, they have no legally binding targets on finance or emissions cuts or technology transfer. 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 emissions in future would fall on 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.

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. India should now lead the global effort to revisit the Paris deal that was deliberately diluted to please the United States.

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