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Washout in Lima

Centre for Science and Environment says the conference’s decisions will not result in a climate deal in 2015 Bad for India. Global warming will increase, India may see more extreme weather events which will affect its poor more Lima, December 14, 2014: ‘Lima Call to Climate Action’ is a major setback for an effective climate deal in Paris in 2015, says Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). The 20th Conference of Parties (CoP) on climate change came to a close in Lima, Peru, this week. “The principle of common but differentiated responsibility and respective capability (CBDR), the cornerstone of climate negotiations, has been further diluted and compromised, leading the way for developed countries to continue their high emissions,” said Chandra Bhushan, CSE’s deputy director general who has been attending the deliberations in Lima. Developed countries have not pledged to reduce their emissions from now till 2020. They have also not given any concrete assurance to provide finance and technology to the developing countries. Every country can now decide what they want to do to reduce their emissions. But they will not be asked to explain how their efforts are fair and ambitious. They will also not face any rigorous assessment process ahead of the Paris summit. Said Bhushan: “No questions will be asked, and none answered.” CoP20 will be remembered for bad process, non-transparency and non-inclusiveness. It has further widened the trust gap between the developed and developing countries. The final agreement only postpones the inevitable – a big fight next year in the run-up to the Paris meeting and eventually, a weak deal that will take the world to a 3-4OC temperature rise, risking the lives and livelihoods of billions of poor people across the world. CSE researchers said India has not gained or lost anything in the short term, but will lose in the longer term as the principle of CBDR has been further diluted. This deal will lead to a much weaker climate agreement in Paris under which countries will not do much till 2030. This means two things: The world will continue its trajectory of 3-4OC warming leading to increase in extreme weather events like extreme rainfalls that we have witnessed in Uttrarakhand, J&K and Meghalaya in the last two years. Monsoons will become more unpredictable affecting agriculture and livelihoods of more than half the Indian population, especially marginal farmers. By 2030, the big polluters would have appropriated most of the available carbon space leaving nothing for most developing countries including India. A weak climate deal in Paris means that in 2030 the US and China will have per capita emissions of 12 tonne – four times more than India. After 2030, countries like India will be asked to go to an emergency emission reduction plan which will be highly detrimental to the economic development of the nation. Said CSE director general Sunita Narain: “The Lima agreement will further erode the differentiation between developed and the developing countries. The burden of tackling climate change will decisively shift to developing countries making their efforts towards poverty reduction and sustainable development difficult and expensive.”