Friday, Dec 02, 2022
Outlook.com
world: global warming

Hot Currents

Economic might is right in climate debate

Hot Currents
Illustration by Sorit
Hot Currents
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Industrial countries want:

  • Worldwide emission targets. They also want India to share the "burden" even though Carbon-di-oxide emissions are their legacy.
  • International norms for key industries which will curb growth
  • "Carbon miles" added to food imports
  • Sale, not sharing, of green technology
  • G-77's solidarity broken, so as to weaken India's bargaining power. Small island nations are being asked to push India.

***

The climate change debate has become a war of the worlds, with the West fighting to maintain dominance while developing countries assert their right to grow and provide for their people. But the earnest fury over the fate of Planet Earth emanating from rich capitals cannot hide the stark politics being played out in meeting rooms in Bonn and Bali. In one giant diversionary tactic, the world's worst polluters, who have failed to cut their own emissions, are trying to project the emerging economies of India and China as the new villains of global warming.

It is not only about the Earth dying and the glaciers melting, but also about geopolitics and who will write the new rules. "With India and China growing, becoming large consumers of energy and fossil fuels, the West is worried about its diminishing clout," a senior Indian official says. Climate change is becoming the weapon of choice to maintain status quo because, in the end, emergence of new players means the retirement of old ones. Analysts say the aim may be to restrain China, but India could easily become collateral damage. Environmental activist Sunita Narain predicts that climate-change negotiations are headed for a "bloodbath".

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