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G8 Summit, no substance for climate crisis

New Delhi, Sat, 12 Jul 2008 NI Wire

The G8 Summit of world leaders yet again failed to bring any breakthrough on one of the most pressing issues of Climatic Change. The Group of eight industrialised countries didn’t show any sign of maturity in terms of cutting the greenhouse gas emission. Moreover, the refusal by United States and Japan to include emerging economies like China and India in the formulation of mechanism on issues like global warming, food crisis and energy security has demonstrated the seriousness and vision of the forum to talk about international governance.

When developed economies hold above 75 percent of total greenhouse gas emission, then it is no way logical to press on developing countries like India to cut their emission which is potentially hazardous to their economic growth. Candidly, G8 with such rigid stand by its members is not the right platform to seek solution of problems like global warming. Though in the present meet up, the richest nations reached to an agreement to reduce carbon emissions by 50 percent by the year 2050, however, considering the past a long-term goal has no substance to encourage developing countries to come forward.

The key dilemma among fast-developing economies is to maintain their own economic growth in a strict and time bound emission plan which is not viable for countries like India where despite economic growth, there are hundreds of millions of people living in abject poverty. Hence, it is justifiable for China and India to ask G8 leaders to first set a numerical reduction target and then ask others to take things on.

India’s per capita emission is at about 1 tonne as against the OECD’s set average of over 12 tonnes and in near future if any target is set then it can well-contribute to its emission goal. And as per stats, United States emits over three times more than China. Even though some thought the summit is an encouragement considering George Bush’s acceptance for a set target of emission cuts but that is woefully inadequate.

The Group of Five nations – Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa – are united in their stand for a well-defined approach in terms short-term cuts that would reduce emissions by 25 per cent to 40 per cent by 2020 and 80-95 percent cuts by 2050 from the 1990 levels. Time is running out to take some hard decission and that by the rich nations on the front, without doing so it is wrong to shift the burden of global warming onto developing countries.

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