ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Gautam DuttSubscribe to Gautam Dutt

Reaching a Climate Agreement: Beyond the Copenhagen Accord

This article synthesises the pledges made by both industrialised and developing countries, following the Copenhagen Accord, and their implications for stabilising the earth's climate as well as for the future course of the negotiations. This discussion briefly mentions the issues involved in different greenhouse gases and their measurement, and focuses on the important objective of the need to have an agreement without contradictions. This remains a major omission in the debate on climate change.

A Climate Agreement beyond 2012

As the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol comes to a close in 2012, the world faces another decision point at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting in Copenhagen in December. It is clear that total world emissions of greenhouse gases need to decrease sometime during the coming decade, and fall sharply thereafter, if we are to avoid disastrous and irreversible climate change. While industrialised countries generally emit much more per capita than developing countries, some of the latter have per capita emissions approaching the world average. This paper proposes that these advanced developing countries take on commitments to limit future emissions increase to improvements in the gross domestic product or, better yet, the Human Development Index, noting that some countries have achieved much more emission-efficient development than others. Recognising differences in the accuracy of greenhouse gas emissions accounting, we propose separate treatment for energy-related co2 emissions, forestry, agriculture, and fluorinated gases.

Negotiations and Agreements on Climate Change at Bali

The Bali Action Plan drawn up last month was only an echo of the US position without any quantitative commitments on emissions reductions. Even though there was a general support for incentives to reduce deforestation, India's proposal to include conservation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks was opposed by Brazil, the European Union and other countries. An analysis of the two main decisions taken at the UN climate change conference last month.

Coping with Climate Change

In its Fourth Assessment Report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has confirmed that climate change is real, has quantified its magnitude and future evolution, and has assessed its impact. The 2006 Stern report concluded that the economic costs of climate change are significant. There are many ways to mitigate climate change, and results of action undertaken through the Kyoto Protocol are now visible. This paper examines alternative policies for mitigating and adapting to climate change, beyond the year 2012 horizon of Kyoto, and how India can play an important role in this effort.
Back to Top