The developed nations need to take measures to curb the ever-growing problem of global warming caused by the process of development and refrain from coercing developing countries such as India to obstruct their economic growth on the pretext of environmental pollution. Let the rich nations initiate and India and developing nations will follow suite.
Pradipto Ghosh, a senior Indian environment official snubbed the western countries not to treat India as a second-class global citizen, because in doing so its right to pollute becomes automatically lesser than them. For India to curb its greenhouse gas emissions, the West first needs to cut down on its green house gas emissions and than demand lesser-developed world to check their polluting levels.
Pradipto Ghosh, retired last month as India’s environment secretary and presently is serving as the chairman of a committee advising India’s prime minister on climate change. Ghosh was talking in the wake of President Bush’s demand that India and China should play their part in curbing global warming, only than will U.S. enter the U.N –sponsored climate change negotiations. Reprimanding Bush’s demand, Ghosh warned that the historical polluters in the industrialized West must get serious about cutting its own emissions if it wanted progress on the issue.
Though, being an environmentalist Ghosh, reiterated that India would not compromise its continued 8 per cent economic growth to arrest global warming. It must be allowed to pollute on a per capita basis equally with the West, for its population, which is predicted to reach 1.5bn by 2050.
In support of his statement, Ghosh explained that India being the second most populated country in the world is home to a number of underprivileged people about whom West isn’t aware of. Therefore, he stressed again and again that for India the goals of climate change couldn’t supersede its goals of maintaining its current rates of GDP growth and poverty alleviation programs, to which Kyoto protocol also agreed.
He remarked no doubt the problem of global warning is extremely serious and measures must be taken to rein in this growing trend. If the world is to meet the target of keeping global warming within the agreed ‘safe limit’ of two degrees, as set by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change green house gases, that would imply drastic cuts in emissions in developed countries.
Even Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, promised that India would never go beyond the per-capita emission set for developing countries while pursuing the policies of industrial development and poverty alleviation.
Ghosh reiterating India’s commitment towards curbing climate change, said that the country was actively taking measures to boost its energy efficiency in industry and maintain its economic advances without compromising with the increasing ecological destruction. He was happy to point out that India is polluting at a far slower rate than the West did when undergoing the same transition in development.
Developed and developing countries seem to be at loggerheads with each other as far as the cutting down of emissions is concerned. The divide will strongly resurface when both meet in Bali, Indonesia in December to start negotiations on a new climate change agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.
The G8 summit in Germany despite having a session on climate change, only served to add to Indian and Chinese irritation at being treated as petitioners not partners at the global top table on the issue of climate chnage.
At present, America is the largest polluter in the world, and India’s emissions are predicted to surpass those of the US in 30 years time. But both countries stand at different levels, while India is an emerging economy, American economy is already ruling at the global level. To grow and to feed billions of its countrymen, India needs to utilize its resources at hand, which is not going to be possible unless it puts economy before environment. However, environment is also important, and care has to be taken that developing countries do not exceed the allotted emission levels set by Kyoto protocol, because that would only put more pressure on them and degrade the environment further.
Developed countries have to initiate and take that big step in leading the world in controlling their emissions.
Developed nations have caused more environmental degradation than developing nations are at present. The onus to check climate change lies largely with them. They cannot simply blame developing nations like India and China for the present scenario. They must lead by example and refrain from treating citizens of developing nations of second-class. As they have enjoyed more of development at the cost of ecological damage, they need to sacrifice first and more.
Via: The Telegraph