December 05, 2011

Binding mitigation targets for China, India etc - post 2020 ?

The Kyoto protocol - worked out in 1997, and in effect from 2005 February -- do not include any targets for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by the developing or poor countries -- only the 37 rich countries in the Annex I list are bound by the KP to reduce their emissions by over 5% between 2008-2012. Almost none of these major countries have done any substantial reductions, except Germany for the last 3 years, all of them have been demanding the large 'emerging economies' - like China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico etc -- take on binding commitments for reductions. Or else, these developed & rich countries are threatening to walk out of Kyoto Protocol (KP).

Just before the Copenhagen COP-15 in 2009, both the Governments of India & China declared their voluntary "Reduction of Energy Intensity of their Economies" by 20-25% and by up to 40% respectively, the pressure on these so-called emerging economies has increased since then.

Here in Durban, China is playing it’s cards very intelligently; by giving statements of intentions of emission reduction, by publishing and distributing huge amounts of material about what China is doing in terms of the shift to renewable energy etc. India -- in contrast - is hardly visible in the international scene, and even the press briefing that the Indian Govt. delegation (negotiating team) gave here was fuzzy and evasive. The heat is on these large emerging polluters, but India seems to have lost the mind space of the thousands of observers here and hundreds of millions out in the world.


From COP 17, Durban

Soumya Dutta

Beyond Copenhagen


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