Copenhagen to Cancun

A year of impasse No one quite expects Cancun to yield any legally-binding agreement amidst fractured geopolitical mandates and domestic constraints. At best, it can pave the way for CoP 2011 in South Africa Read more

Copenhagen Accord

Copenhagen climate talks were indeed historic. For their failure. In Bali in 2007, negotiators laid out the roadmap for a deal and gave themselves two years. The formula was simple and ethical: rich countries would cut emissions by 40 per cent below 1990 levels, by 2020, and put new money on the table. In exchange, emerging economies would join the effort, reducing emissions growth at home enabled by finance and technology from industrialized countries Read more

Fast Track Funding

In the Copenhagen Accord, one of the most talked about decisions is the “fast track” funding which, between 2010 and 2012, should transfer US $30 billion from developed countries to the developing ones for adaptation and mitigation of climate change Read more


REDD – reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation – is a heavily contested mechanism in the climate change debate. The basic concept is simple: governments, companies or forest owners in the South should be rewarded for keeping their forests intact instead of cutting them down. It, thus, is a mechanism to create an incentive for developing countries to protect, better manage and wisely use their forest resources, contributing to the global fight against climate change. REDD strategies aim to make forests more valuable standing than they would be cut down, by creating a financial value for the carbon stored in trees. Read more


The Adaptation Fund is a financial instrument established by the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It is aimed at funding concrete adaptation projects and programmes in those developing countries that are Parties to the Protocol. The fund is largely financed with 2 per cent of the certified emission reduction (CERs) issued for the projects of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). Read more

Technology transfer

The UNFCCC Article 4, Paragraph 5 stresses the need for transfer of environmentally sound technologies from the developed world to developing as well as least developed countries (LDCs), to help them adopt a low-carbon growth and development path. Negotiations on the mechanisms of technology transfer began at Bali (CoP-13). It was hoped that the process would lead to a formal decision or understanding at Copenhagen (CoP-15). Read more

Who is responsible?

The question ‘who is responsible for climate change?’ lies at the heart of the politics of negotiations related to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In December 1988, the UN General Assembly resolution recognised climate change as a “common concern of mankind” and noted that “the largest part of the current emission of pollutants into the environment including toxic and hazardous wastes, originates in developed countries… Read more


Current global emissions As per World Resources Institute’s Climate Analysis Indicators Tool (CAIT) version 7.0, USA has less than 5 per cent of the world’s population, but accounts for more than 20 per cent of the global carbon dioxide emissions in 2006. India, with almost 17 per cent of global population, accounts for less than 5 per cent of the emissions. Download pdf