Durban, December 5: Q from The Independent: Any circumstances in which China will go for a legally binding global deal to cut emissions? So far, multilateral talks have been going on for 20 years. Many countries have spent great efforts. The UNFCCC and KP are legally binding documents, all parties are working hard to implement consensus in the Copenhagen Accord. We need a review of all these efforts. We need to base future decisions on current actions and what has been achieved so far. We will consider 2020 only after that.
I have reached Cancun few hours’ back to attend the 16th Conference of Parties (CoP-16) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and have been greeted with news that can only be characterised as bad or worse.
Last fortnight I asked: is India rich enough to pay for the cost of transition to a low-carbon economy? I put the question in the context of current moves in climate change negotiations which demand countries such as India—till now seen as victims of the carbon excesses of the already industrialized world—must now take full responsibility to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The US-sponsored and India-supported Copenhagen Accord rejects the principle of historical responsibility towards climate change, radically changing the global framework of action for ever more.
Climate change negotiations—cold after the freeze at Copenhagen—have warmed up again. In early April, negotiators met in Bonn, Germany, on the possible agreement that could be signed at the meet scheduled in December 2010 in Mexico. This was followed by a US-convened meet of the Major Economies Forum, better named the major emitters forum, in Washington. Next weekend, the group calling itself BASIC—China, Brazil, South Africa and India—is meeting in Cape Town to come up with its common position on negotiations.
Unable to agree on targets and funding, world leaders settled for an interim political deal. But the Copenhagen Accord could change the rules of the game by wiping equity off the agenda. Read the full story...
Somebody recently asked me why India supported the Copenhagen Accord. It is correct to say that the proposed accord has no meaningful targets for emission reduction from Annex 1 (industrialized countries). Global emissions will increase or reduce at best marginally.