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Earth Day April 22, 2010

Why is it important to celebrate Earth Day?

Ans:- Earth Day raises an awareness to save the Earth. Especially in times of global warming, we should celebrate Earth Day to remind us to conserve natural resources for future use. Earth supports life, and we should be happy about it.

History of Earth Day

Earth Day — April 22 — each year marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970.

Among other things, 1970 in the United States brought with it the Kent State shootings, the advent of fiber optics, “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” Apollo 13, the Beatles’ last album, the death of Jimi Hendrix, the birth of Mariah Carey, and the meltdown of fuel rods in the Savannah River nuclear plant near Aiken, South Carolina — an incident not acknowledged for 18 years.

History of Earth Day

Participant in Earth Day, 1970.
Photo: EPA History Office

It was into such a world that the very first Earth Day was born.

Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, proposed the first nationwide environmental protest “to shake up the political establishment and force this issue onto the national agenda. ” “It was a gamble,” he recalls, “but it worked.”

At the time, Americans were slurping leaded gas through massive V8 sedans. Industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of legal consequences or bad press. Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity. Environment was a word that appeared more often in spelling bees than on the evening news.

Earth Day 1970 turned that all around.

On April 22, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment. Denis Hayes, the national coordinator, and his youthful staff organized massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.

Denis Hayes – Honorary Chair, Earth Day Network

History of Earth DayEarth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species acts.

Sen. Nelson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the highest honor given to civilians in the United States — for his role as Earth Day founder.

As 1990 approached, a group of environmental leaders asked Denis Hayes to organize another big campaign. This time, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting the status of environmental issues on to the world stage. Earth Day 1990 gave a huge boost to recycling efforts worldwide and helped pave the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.

As the millennium approached, Hayes agreed to spearhead another campaign, this time focused on global warming and a push for clean energy. Earth Day 2000 combined the big-picture feistiness of the first Earth Day with the international grassroots activism of Earth Day 1990. For 2000, Earth Day had the Internet to help link activists around the world. By the time April 22 rolled around, 5,000 environmental groups around the world were on board, reaching out to hundreds of millions of people in a record 184 countries. Events varied: A talking drum chain traveled from village to village in Gabon, Africa, for example, while hundreds of thousands of people gathered on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., USA.

EPA Administrator William K. Reilly with former Senator Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day 1990. Photo: EPA History Office

EPA Administrator William K. Reilly with former Senator Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day 1990. Photo: EPA History Office

Earth Day 2000 sent the message loud and clear that citizens the world ’round wanted quick and decisive action on clean energy.

Now, the fight for a clean environment continues. We invite you to be a part of this history and a part of Earth Day. Discover energy you didn’t even know you had. Feel it rumble through the grass roots under your feet and the technology at your fingertips. Channel it into building a clean, healthy, diverse world for generations to come.

40th Anniversary of Earth Day
April 22, 2010

Forty years after the first Earth Day, the world is in greater peril than ever. While climate change is the greatest challenge of our time, it also presents the greatest opportunity – an unprecedented opportunity to build a healthy, prosperous, clean energy economy now and for the future.

Earth Day 2010 can be a turning point to advance climate policy, energy efficiency, renewable energy and green jobs. Earth Day Network is galvanizing millions who make personal commitments to sustainability. Earth Day 2010 is a pivotal opportunity for individuals, corporations and governments to join together and create a global green economy. Join the more than one billion people in 190 countries that are taking action for Earth Day.

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Keeping yourself clean may pollute the environment

Keeping yourself clean may pollute the environment

Shower

Knowing the source of pollution is an important first step toward preventing further contamination.
Getty Images

THE GIST:

  • Taking showers and doing laundry could wash pharmaceuticals into the water supply.
  • Babies and people with compromised immune systems could be most at risk.
  • Although the health consequences are still unclear, knowing the source of pollution could help reduce its impact.


With every shower you take, you may be unwittingly polluting the environment.

As you scrub off dirt, you also wipe off medicines from your skin and pharmaceuticals excreted in sweat, according to a new study. Those chemicals pass through the sewage system and might even end up in our drinking water.

“We are raising an alarm in that pharmaceuticals are not meant to be in our water,” said Ilene Ruhoy, director of the Institute for Environmental Medicine at the Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Henderson, Nev. She presented her work this week at the American Chemical Society meeting in San Francisco.

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“If you think about other people exposed to these drugs that are intended for a particular population,” she said, “that could be a concern.”

Scientists have already recognized toilets as the biggest source of pharmaceuticals in the environment. After swallowing and digesting medicines, our bodies excrete metabolized versions of them through urine and feces. Often, people flush unwanted or unused pills as well, without thinking about where the drugs will end up.

Ruhoy suspected that toilets weren’t the only way that pharmaceuticals escape from the medicine cabinet. For the first time, she and colleagues considered overlooked sources of drugs in the environment.

Their research revealed that human skin fails to absorb much of the medicine that is applied topically, such as antibiotic ointments and steroid creams. Showers, baths and laundry wash those drugs directly into the sewage system. Chemically, these compounds often remain whole, unlike the broken-down versions in feces and urine.

The scientists also found that a significant percentage of the medicine we swallow end up coming out in our sweat. Those chemicals go down the drain, too.

It’s not yet clear how pharmaceutical residues in the environment will affect the health of animals or people, especially because concentrations for now are low. Still, tiny doses can add up after years and years of exposure. It’s a phenomenon that scientists have become increasingly worried about.

Studies have already found female features, such as eggs, in male fish that live near sewage effluents. Among the concerns, the migration of antibiotics into the environment could lead to more drug-resistant infections. Babies and people with compromised immune systems would be most at risk.

“There’s potential for an incredible number of compounds to be entering the environment, and we don’t really know what mixtures of those chemicals can do, either individually or together,” said Michael Fulton, an environmental toxicologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Charleston, S.C.

“Work is really just sort of beginning,” he added, “to try and identify what compounds are getting into the environment in high enough concentrations to produce an effect in some animal living out there.”

Knowing where pollution is coming from is an important first step toward preventing it from entering the environment in the first place, Ruhoy said. She recommends using the minimal necessary dose of topical ointments instead of slathering them on. Precautionary measures like wiping down with a towel before stepping into the shower might help, too.

“Let’s just be aware that what we do has an effect on the environment,” she said. “The environment and human health are intricately connected.”

Filed under: Article of Week, Climate/Environment, , ,

Climate change

CLIMATE CHANGE

Gathering clouds

 

R. RAMACHANDRAN

 

 

Developed countries may not accept the targets for the post-2012 phase under the Kyoto Protocol and may even abandon it altogether.

 

 

 

BAY ISMOYO/AFP

This October 13 photograph shows a fisherman paddling his boat through a devastated peatland forest in Pangkalan Bunut in Indonesia’s Riau province. It is one of the last tropical forests in Sumatra and its destruction will lead to further atmospheric warming.

 

ALL indications are that the crucial 15th Conference of the Parties (COP-15) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Copenhagen in December is going to be a disaster from the perspective of developing countries, whose interests have been championed by the Group of 77 and China. The Copenhagen Summit was expected to deliver a fair and equitable agreement on the shared responsibilities and commitments of developed and developing countries for the period after 2012 in accordance with the agreed Principles (Article 3) and Commitments (Article 4) of the UNFCCC. However, it is increasingly becoming clear that this hope will be belied, with the evident change of track by developed countries from UNFCCC’s basic tenets and the Bali Action Plan (BAP) that was drawn up and agreed upon in December 2007 to reach an agreement in Copenhagen.

But more distressing is the fact that there are signs of India, given its major power aspirations, trying to abandon the G-77 ship in its bid to be in league with the G-20 rather than with the developing world. Its recent unilateral posture of “flexibility” – read subservience to the United States – in the run-up to Copenhagen, as evidenced by the “discussion note” submitted by Minister of Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, betrays India’s shifting stance. According to a Reuters interview with the Minister, this “flexible approach” had the sanction of the Prime Minister, who did not want India to take an obstructionist position in Copenhagen and be a “deal-breaker”. “Don’t block, be constructive, work proactively, make sure there’s an agreement” is what apparently the Prime Minister told Ramesh.

Another Indian news report said that the Prime Minister was convening a meeting of the National Development Council (NDC) to discuss what the country’s stand should be in Copenhagen. With just a few weeks to go before COP-15, these are ominous signs, suggesting an approach that may subvert the legitimate rights of developing countries to economic growth and a secure future. Martin Khor, the Executive Director of South Centre, observed: “From environment, it became an issue of economics and now it has become totally political.”

To understand these developments in the proper perspective, it is important to remind ourselves of the basic premise of the UNFCCC. The Convention recognises the basic fact that the “historic responsibility” for climate change lies with the industrialised countries, whose developmental pathways in the post-industrialisation era are responsible for the problems of the climate that the world faces today. Scientific studies, particularly by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), point to the doubly iniquitous nature of the problem for developing countries. It would be the poor of the developing economies of the South who will be most hit by the effects of climate change, for which they are not responsible at all.

Equity is sought to be restored through Article 3.1 of the Convention, which calls for climate protection “on the basis of equity and in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) and respective capabilities”. “Accordingly,” it says, “the developed country Parties should take the lead in combating climate change and the adverse effects thereof.” This Principle, together with the commitment of developed countries (the Annex-1 countries) to “take corresponding measures on the mitigation of climate change” as required in Article 4.2, was turned, via the Berlin Mandate of 1995, into a separate Protocol under the Convention (Kyoto Protocol), which was concluded on December 11, 1997, and which came into force in February 2005.

The Protocol was premised on the following important guiding principle which captured the notion of equal right of access to the global commons of the atmospheric carbon space: “[T]he largest share of historical and current global emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) has originated in developed countries… [and] per capita emissions (PCEs) in developing countries are still relatively low and… the share of global emissions originating in developing countries will grow to meet their social and development needs.” Accordingly, there were no binding commitments set for developing (or non-Annex-1) countries. Legally binding emission reduction targets were set only for the Annex-1 countries, “with a view to reducing their overall emissions… by at least 5 per cent below 1990 levels in the [first] commitment period 2008 to 2012”. However, the Protocol being only an interim arrangement, weak reduction targets were set for the first commitment period, which comes to an end in 2012.

Significantly, the U.S., which was the largest GHG emitter in the world until China overtook its place recently, is not a party to the Kyoto Protocol even though it is one to the Convention. Historically, the U.S. accounts for nearly one-third of the total stock of carbon dioxide (CO2), the most important of the GHGs, in the atmosphere (since 1850). Industrialised countries together account for nearly three-fourths of the total stock of CO2. Even today, the U.S. accounts for over 18 per cent of global GHG emissions. China, with an economy that has grown rapidly in recent years, accounts for a little over 19 per cent of global GHG emissions, but its historic contribution to the CO2 stock is only 7-8 per cent. India accounts for only 5 per cent of global GHG emissions and its historic contribution is 1-2 per cent of the atmospheric CO2 stock.

AFP

This handout picture from 350.org shows environmental activists forming a human chain to write the number 3 along the Jordanian shores of the Dead Sea during a protest to mark the International Day of Climate Change on October 24.

 

Today, China is the largest emitter of GHGs and India the fourth largest. But these numbers must be read along with the fact that the U.S. accounts for only about 4.5 per cent of the global population whereas India accounts for about 17 per cent and China for about 21 per cent. Correspondingly, the annual per capita emissions (of GHG), respectively, are 23.6 tonnes, 5.5 t and 1.7 t. (The PCEs of CO2 are correspondingly 20 t, 4.3 t and 1.2 t respectively.) In terms of PCE, while the U.S. ranks sixth, China ranks 70th and India 124th. This makes the U.S.’s persistent demand on legally binding commitments in the post-2012 phase on countries such as India and China completely unacceptable, especially without the required commitments on its own part of deep emission cuts.

The overall scientific opinion today is that if disastrous and irreversible impacts of climate change are to be avoided, the increase in the average global temperature, which according to the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the IPCC (2007) is at present about 0.8oC, should not exceed more than 2oC above the pre-industrial level. A 2oC limit corresponds (with a 50 per cent probability) to 450 parts per million (ppm) of CO2 equivalent concentration of GHG gases in the atmosphere. The present GHG concentration is around 380 ppm and the average PCE is about 4.5 t of CO2 equivalent.

According to the IPCC’s AR4, only a global cut of 85 per cent from the 2000 levels (of about 4.5 t PCE) by 2050 has a high probability of preventing a temperature increase of over 2oC. This implies a cut of over 90 per cent for the Annex-1 countries, whose average PCE per year is about 10 t of CO2 eq. The IPCC report further suggests that Annex-1 countries should cut their emissions by 25-40 per cent by 2020, a demand also placed by the G-77 and China in the negotiations. Given the 11.2 per cent increase in emissions by Annex-1 countries since 1990, this now seems even more unattainable unless the Annex-1 countries accept immediate drastic cuts in emissions; such a commitment does not seem forthcoming.

It must be emphasised that all these numbers have to do with cutting down the current flow of CO2 into the atmosphere. Any kind of compensatory mechanism (such as emission cuts or otherwise) for the historic responsibility of occupying an unfair share of the carbon space – a global commons – from 1850 has never been an integral part of the UNFCCC negotiations or the IPCC’s calculations. A non-paper submitted by the Indian delegation in July this year at the UNFCCC estimated that if historic responsibility were quantified and included in the calculations, Annex-1 countries would have to cut their emissions by 79.2 per cent by 2020. Indeed, this was the ballpark figure submitted by quantification exercises presented at this meeting by some other G-77 countries and China. In effect, the emission reductions by 2050 would far exceed 100 per cent; that is, they will have negative emissions. This negative quantity can, in principle, be converted into equivalent financial commitments towards non-Annex-1 countries on the “polluter pays” principle.

Another way of looking at this is through an equitable distribution of the available carbon space – the “carbon budget” approach. According to a recent paper, written by Meite Meinhausen and others in Nature, the carbon budget available for the world as a whole from 2000 until 2050 is 1,000 gigaton (billion tonnes) of CO2 – this would have a 75 per cent chance of containing the temperature increase to less than 2oC above pre-industrial levels. A similar exercise undertaken more recently by the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) has put the available carbon space to be 750 Gt between 2010 and 2050 for a 67 per cent chance of restricting the warming to under 2oC. For a 75 per cent probability, the carbon budget comes down to 600 Gt.

Given that the current annual emissions are about 30 Gt, the two estimates are consistent, and both mean that if the current emissions by Annex-1 countries continue at the same rate, the carbon space will be exhausted within a short span of 15-20 years, leaving no space at all for developing countries’ economic growth. But the sad part is that even current flow targets are not being met by the Annex-1 countries. Any demand for deep cuts by them are not only rejected outright but binding commitments are sought from major developing countries such as India and China in the post-2012 phase.

All this indicates that if we accept that the “guardrail” of 2oC should not be breached, there will be a squeeze on the available carbon space for developing countries even if developed countries undertake substantive cuts. A recent joint modelling exercise by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) and the Delhi Science Forum (DSF) has explicitly shown that the growth rate of emissions of developing countries must decline and subsequently converge with the PCE of Annex-1 countries around 2050. However, the average PCE of emerging economies such as China and India will overshoot that of Annex-1 countries in the medium-term around 2030 (given their developmental priorities and attendant emissions growth). By apportioning the available carbon space on per capita basis and allocating national carbon budgets for each country on the basis of 2010 population figures (and appropriate growth rates), the WBGU model too predicts this for reasonable scenarios of emissions reductions of Annex-1 countries.

It must be pointed out that these (TISS-DSF and WBGU) convergence paths are quite different from the Manmohan Singh Convergence Principle (see Frontline, August 13) and allow for more equitable development paths for developing countries. The Singh Convergence Principle does not allow the emission pathways of developed and developing countries to cross at any point and, therefore, would constrain the development space more severely.

AFP

Palestinians and Israelis formed the numbers 5 and 0, respectively, to form the number 350. The number refers to 350 ppm (parts per million), which scientists say is the safe upper limit of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

 

The hope was that at Copenhagen the UNFCCC signatories will arrive at a fair and equitable agreement that would deliver climate justice to the developing world, which requires carbon space for growth and development, by (i) requiring Annex-1 countries to undertake deep and ambitious cuts in carbon emissions during the second phase of the Protocol; (ii) bringing the U.S., particularly in the wake of the Obama administration’s apparent shift in Climate Policy, on board to join the Kyoto process in its second phase and take on binding commitments on emissions reduction; and (iii) evolving appropriate binding and verifiable mechanisms for developed countries to provide the requisite financial resources to meet the “full incremental costs” and transfer of (low carbon) technologies to the non-Annex-1 countries for undertaking Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs), as agreed upon under BAP. Component (iii) essentially stems from Article 4.7 of the UNFCCC in terms of the respective commitments of developed and developing countries. Specifically on this aspect, the G-77 and China have taken a stand that only those NAMAs that are “supported and enabled by international technology, financing and capacity building will be subject to international measurement, reporting and verification (MRV)”.

In the run-up to COP-15, at the negotiations both in Bonn in June and in Bangkok in September, a number of industrialised countries put on the table their numbers for reductions by 2020 and 2050. The targets for 2020 are very weak, far below the 40 per cent reduction required by the IPCC as well as the G-77 and China. The targets for 2050 vary widely, but in any case the aggregate target is nowhere near the over 90 per cent reduction required by the IPCC. The U.S., of course, is in a league of its own with its domestic Waxman-Markey Bill (approved in the House of Representatives) and its Senate version, the Kerry-Boxer Bill, setting a very weak target of 20 per cent reduction for 2020 and 83 per cent for 2050 but with respect to the base year of 2005! According to John Hay, the spokesperson for the UNFCCC Secretariat, these numbers come with the caveat that these could be raised but only through emissions trading, offsets and other mechanisms in developing countries that would earn them carbon credits. But, as had been argued earlier (Frontline, August 13), such offsets-based reductions by Annex-1 countries imply an added squeeze on the carbon space for developing countries, which is already compromised and constrained for no fault of theirs.

But what we have seen in Bangkok is a Plan B insidiously taking shape that no one had anticipated, though a recent opinion piece by David Victor in Nature called for such a Plan B at Copenhagen. “We have no Plan B post-Copenhagen,” Hay said on being asked if he saw the talks breaking down at Copenhagen. “We don’t see any government saying, ‘Oh! Sorry, we changed our minds.’ The international crisis makes it absolutely impossible for us to counter this unfair response,” he added. Clearly, as things unfold, many governments, including perhaps India thanks to the stand advocated by Jairam Ramesh, are probably going to say, “Sorry, we changed our minds. We do not want Kyoto.” There is thus the real danger of things taking a turn for the worse in the days before Copenhagen, maybe even in Barcelona where the last pre-COP talks have just got under way.

Evidence was mounting that not only would the developed countries not accept targets for the post-2012 phase under the Kyoto Protocol but they would, in fact, abandon the Protocol altogether. At the Bali meeting, it was envisaged that if the U.S. did not join the Protocol, its case could be dealt with as a special one by making its “comparable” commitment (based on its domestic legislation) binding under an amendment to the Convention. In fact, India has made a submission based on the Guidelines of the International Law Commission that a declaration made with the intent of an international obligation is tantamount to being a legally binding commitment. This means that the U.S. could have been brought on board even if it remained outside the Protocol. But the other developed countries, instead of extending the Kyoto Protocol with such an addendum of the U.S. commitment, seem to be veering towards a new agreement that will have only a “pledge and review” approach. That is, each developed country’s arbitrary national plans or pledges made so far without any scientifically sound guiding principle would assume the meaning of binding commitments subject to verification.

This concerted attempt to kill the Protocol had made inroads into the Ad-Hoc Working Group on the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) under the UNFCCC that was negotiating the Protocol text for the next phase. Apparently, right at the start of the meeting in Bangkok, the Chair suggested that along with the Protocol this new “pledge and review” mechanism may also be discussed to see how these two tracks could be merged. The G-77 apparently walked out at this suggestion. This “pledge and review” approach has now assumed the form of an Australian proposal that is backed by the U.S. and the European Union, which removes the distinction between developing and developed countries by requiring all countries to draw up “national schedules” based on “national mitigation commitments” that would be registered and verified through an agreed “Implementation Mechanism”.

This “pledge and review” approach is fast gathering momentum among Annex-1 countries. The shape of things to come at Copenhagen was evident from the recent address of Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen to international legislators on October 24. He said: “[V]irtually all countries with major emissions have adopted ambitious climate legislation. And others are mounting new plans and political momentum to get them approved…. I suggest that we lock in the determination to act already by Copenhagen and seek political commitments for immediate implementation…. It should capture and encourage the contributions individual countries are willing to undertake within all areas of the Bali Road Map, including specific and binding commitments on mitigation and finance….”

But what is really disturbing is that there appears to be a definitive move within the top echelons of the government to change the Indian negotiating stand that seems to support this Plan B at Copenhagen – that India should also unilaterally state its domestic targets and accept international verification of the same. In fact, at both the multilateral and the Indo-U.S. bilateral discussions, the Indian negotiators were embarrassed at being told by the U.S. chief negotiator, Jonathan Pershing, waving an interview given by Jairam Ramesh to an Indian newspaper, that their stand was quite at variance with that of the Minister, who had given them to understand that India would be willing to accept WTO/IMF-like target schedules and verification mechanism. It is no coincidence that the Minister should talk in the same breath of a national legislation for mitigation actions and espouse his support for the Australian proposal, as he has done in his note to the Prime Minister saying that India should have “no theological objections” to it.

The ‘discussion note’ circulated by Jairam Ramesh needs to be viewed in the light of the above discussions. “India,” said the Minister’s note, “should take the position that it welcomes any initiative to bring in the USA into the mainstream through a special mechanism but without diluting the basic Annex/non-Annex-1 distinction of the Kyoto Protocol. The Australian proposal of a schedule maintains this basic distinction and the nature of differential obligations is made clear, we should have no theological objections to it.”

AFP

 

This implies that he is willing to distance India from the demands of the G-77 and China of deep emission cuts by Annex-1 countries and is willing to go by their weak unilateral commitments in a schedule. Given that developing countries will also have to submit their mitigation schedules that would be subject to verification, implying legally binding commitments, where is the distinction between Annex-1 and non-Annex-1? The Minister also says that India should announce its readiness for a bi-annual implementation dialogue with the UNFCCC and, if need be, with key nations (along the lines of the WTO and the IMF) on its climate change actions (emphasis added).

These declining growth rates of India’s emissions as a result of voluntary mitigation actions can, of course, be stated as quantified emission reduction targets, but these should be strictly for domestic policy measures and not as legally binding international commitments. The very acceptance of a mechanism for international verification, a la WTO/IMF, of domestic mitigation action implies a legally binding commitment. This marks a complete about-turn from the stand that has been taken by India all along and a bartering away of the country’s developmental space in an obvious bid to align with the U.S. The simple point is that a possible solution to the climate problem in the mid-term and the long-term is deep cuts by industrialised countries. Without that, even if India stops all its emissions today, the problem is not solved. So without any condition on the Annex-1 commitments, unilateral binding commitments do not achieve anything.

MARK RALSTON/AFP

An aerial view of the Suncor’s oil sands extraction facility on the banks of the Athabasca river and near Fort McMurray town in Alberta province, Canada, on October 23. Greenpeace is calling for an end to oil sands mining in the region because of the greenhouse gas emissions it causes.

 

The note further says: “The position that we will take on international mitigation commitments only if supported by finance and technology needs to be nuanced simply because we need to mitigate in our self-interest.” This goes completely against the Indian stand given the very high costs of mitigation actions. At a plenary in Bangkok recently, the U.S. negotiator apparently stated that the U.S. would offer no technology or finance. An Indian estimate has placed the additional investments required for mitigation actions required to bring down emissions by 30 per cent by 2030, the reductions required by the 2oC limit, at around $4 trillion.

“India must listen more and speak less in negotiations, or else will be treated with disfavour and derision by developed countries… which will take away from India’s standing as a global power and an aspirant for permanent membership to the Security Council,” says the note. “India,” it adds, “must not stick to G-77 alone and must realise that it is now embedded in G-20. India’s interests and India’s interests alone should drive our negotiations. India must be seen as pragmatic and constructive, not argumentative and polemical.” His remarks also betray his distrust of China and Brazil, who he thinks may have their own agendas. This apparent shift in India’s climate policy is without parliamentary debate and approval. The bid to barter away the real developmental needs of India’s poor in an effort to please developed nations is a betrayal of its own people.

 

 

 

 

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Full List – Heroes of the Environment 2009 – TIME

Full List – Heroes of the Environment 2009 – TIME.

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