Rajesh Gajra
India | Businessworld
hi souparno,
hope all is well.

just wanted to quickly share a viewpoint with you and also CSE. i have been reading the newsletters and DTE coverage of climate change convention going on at some place somewhere.

CSE, i think, is being over-shrill in attacking the developed countries for asking the developing countries to commit to carbon emission reductions. just because someone else has committed a crime in the past that does not mean someone else now gets the freedom to commit a crime. india & china should, in my view, commit to reductions not because developed countries want it but because mother earth wants it.

it is also a myth to a large extent the argument that india and china cant develop if they have to cut down to emissions. as we have seen the developed countries models that kind of 'development' is of no use if it hurts the Earth's sensitive ecosystems and atmospheric conditions for the worse for mankind. why should then we obsessed with the idea of being allowed to have that same 'development' model by and large. green technology argument is also not very valid because beyond a minor extent green technologies are useless. what, in my view, is required is not supply side management but demand side moderation. anyway, in india & china, the majority of people were not getting the claimed benefits of so-called 'development'.

can you please forward the above to your colleagues, including sunita, who are covering the climate change issues, or alternative give me their email ids and i will email them.

rajesh gajra

K. Madhava Sarma,
I am not in Poznan. Your paper is generally OK. but I do not agree with your statement "It must not spend time now finding ways to differentiate between countries of the South—the advanced, the not so advanced and the least advanced etc". While I agree that too fine distinctions are not needed, surely Singapore, South Korea, Saudi Arabia should not draw funds meant for real developing countries. The mistake was to treat G77 as developing countries. In Montreal Protocol the same mistake was done but there was also a provision that those whose annual per-capita consumption of ozone depleting subatances is more than 0.3 kg are not eligible for funds or grace period. Some similar criteria will be useful for climate change. Those less than world average of per capita GHG emisions and others? There can be negotiations on this.The Kyoto Proto col has done a great mistake in not doing this. High time every one is reasonable. We must remember the Kyoto will suceed only if everyone is in. Sooner the better. There are no penalties (as there in MP, through trade controls) if any country keeps out.

Jagdish Kishwan
India |
Most of the points which have been raised are very relevant. In fact India was the first country to introduce the concept of "compensated conservation" seeking incentives for forest carbon stocks being maintained and enhanced as a result of conservation policies of the country. Needless to say, credit for conservation largely goes to the local grassroots level JFM committees that are engaged in protection of the local forests. India is one country which is keen to see that REDD is understood and used as a holistic comprehensive concept that encompasses all actions being taken in different countries aiming at reduction of emissions in forestry sector. These actions would include reduced deforestation, conservation, sustainable management of forest and increase in forest cover. As regards financial compensation, the local communities will certainly get it in accordance with their contribution. There is no denying this fact. This is very clear at the national as well as international level.I would request you to go through Indian submissions and presentations made in different UNFCCC forums on the subject (also available on the UNFCCC website). Regards.

Nadine Planzer
Holland |
Please see my comments in bold to some of your statements. Thanks for the article!

"Will the rich world, responsible for the stock of emissions already in the common atmosphere, find the resources to pay the victims of its economic excesses?"
I think we should stop pointing fingers and just use renewable energy as Much as possible. I dont think developed countries will just 'pay' the Developing countries. Anyways china has enough money themselves (the most Foreign reserves) that they should allocate fairly to their people. It’s Not the developed worlds responsibility.

"Will the same world find the resources to pay for the much-needed transition to low-carbon economies?"
Yes, i think there should be much more tech. Transfer. I think the problem Is that we can’t agree on which technology to transfer for a particular purpose. Also, patents and propriatery rights restrict this transfer, Which is a huge problem for progress.

"We know today that international negotiations on climate change, to put it politely, stink."
Yes, i agree!! It's a lot of high level talk and no practical solutions

"It is for this reason that the world must accept the concept of equal per capita emission entitlements so that the rich reduce and the poor do not go beyond their climate quota."
Yes i think this is true but the level needs to remain pretty low and as such the mindset of both the rich and the middle class in both the developed world and the developing world needs to change drastically. We should aim for conservation and efficieny and we should use our precious resources sparingly. We shouldn't have a mindset to consume and to consume. We should live simpler.

"It must force these countries to take hard and binding interim targets for emission reduction."
Yes, i completely agree.

"Accepting a long-term target (2050) based on a shifting baseline year, is a self-goal that the world cannot afford."
Yes, i completely agree.

"that the rich must reduce so that the poor can grow."
I think the poor should be able to grow but in a sustainable way and not just grow for the sake of growing. Histrotic cultural ways that represent simplicity and frugality are deteriorating fast. I mean why should an american family own two cars and on that note why should a chinese family own two cars? It’s just not necessary! I think we are in the wrong mind set where we think every poor family should have an Americam life style in order to be happy. I am Canadian and i don't want that. I don't want to live in excess and those values to live in excess and to want more should stop and by giving developing countries the right to grow exponentially without consequence will not help the fight against the depletion of our natural resources. We should learn something from the developing world that less can be better and happiness can still be found (like in Thailand some people don’t have that much but they are happy). Also it has been proven that as income rises in the developed world from a low level to about 30,000 Euro per year happiness increases but when your salary increases above that level then your happiness levels off or decreases. So, economic growth is every countries right but their leaders should grow to a rate where it’s sustainable and the wealth should be fairly distributed (like in china there is an enormous gap between rich and poor.)

"These actions must be paid, not through a convoluted, cheap and corrupt mechanism like CDM, but through a rights-based mechanism."
Ok ,ok! We've heard it all. The system is not perfect but it's a start and I am personally developing renewable energy projects in china that might of not happened with CDM revenues or might of happened but perhaps much later. Who knows! All I know is that I am encouraging through my job as a project manager under the scope of CDM renewable energy and energy effiecieny projects in china -where it is needed! They are cleaning cdm up and I wouldn't call it cheap and corrupt, just poorly implemented and organized. At least cdm has mobilized the international community, the political arena, the corporate sector, the non-profit sector and the individual to something to reduce emissions even if the intentions are different and not always holistic.

"We either set up a global trading system based on equal per capita entitlements. Or agree on a carbon tax (one which hurts) on the developed world, so that the fund can pay for national actions to mitigate emissions including avoiding emissions from deforestation."
I mean implement a carbon tax which will be put into a fund and then used to tranfer technology to the developing world is also not very realistic. Who will administer this fund? How can the individual tax payer feel assured that her/his money is really doing what is supposed to? You think cdm is corrupt? How about all the other funds and charity programs over the years that haven't accoplmished much. Like the UN oil-for-food programme. Just a note, the world cannot agree on major reduction targets so what makes you think that we can devise a global trading system based on equal per capita entitlement? CDM and the EU ets is as close as we have come to a global trading system of carbon credits and look at all the problems it has. By the way cdm includes methodologies on reforestation and afforestation. Let’s hope it can make a small difference.

India |
Mitigation mechanism ad Carbon tradable through CDM is good to
happen till date. But it should be rather simlified for wider participation. and this to happen right choice of experts are needed. We need to learn from A Brief History of Time wherein Stephen Hawking takes us through the evolution of modern thinking on cosmology. Please donot complicate the methodology just because experts have little exposure to the realities.

Melanie Miller
Belgium |
You articles make interesting points. However, you frequently state or assume that economic growth requires increased greehouse gas (GHG) emissions. This can be a false assumption. Experience in 10 countries (e.g. Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Czech Republic) show that GHG emissions can be decoupled from economic growth. Since the early 1990s the per capita income in 10 countries increased by more than 70% while related GHG emissions increased little or in some cases decreased. People who are at COP-14 in Poznan now can see graphs showing this data in an EU poster in the corridor outside the EU Pavilion (its on the right-hand side as you walk towards the Pavilion).