Environment

Climate change is one of the most complex problems facing humankind today: Hamid Ansari

Equity and burden sharing are central to the debate on climate change, Vice-President Hamid Ansari said on Thursday, pointing out that while India was home to 17 per cent of the world’s population, it accounted for only four per cent of the global Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. This was much lower than the United States and China, both of which account for over 16 per cent each of global GHG emissions.

Inaugurating the Global Summit on Sustainable Development & Climate Change, organised here by the Observer Research Foundation in collaboration with Rosa Luxembourg Foundation, Mr. Ansari warned that the lack of global agreement on an equitable formula is likely to cause the climate change negotiations to spill over to other multilateral, regional and bilateral negotiating platforms. This, in turn, would further accentuate existing divisions such as north-south, east-west and developed-developing countries.

Describing climate change as one of the most complex problems facing humankind today, he said the issue imposes new challenges for developing countries like India. This could well require negotiating new international, national, political, economic agreements, fashioning new technological interventions, negotiating financial and technological transfers for mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

Stating that the right of every human being to a life of dignity was an incontrovertible premise in this debate, the Vice-President sought to show how India was a low energy consumer. The per capita energy consumption for India was around 18 tonnes of oil-equivalent per person in 2005, while the corresponding figure was 41 in Pakistan, 52 in China, 345 in Mexico, 205 in Brazil and 1881 in the U.S.. Further, in per-capita terms, India’s GHG emission of 1.1. tonnes per annum, miniscule in comparison to over 20 tonnes for the U. S. and over 10 tonnes for most of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries.

While reiterating India’s argument for equity and burden sharing in the debate at the international level, Mr. Ansari also made a case for broadening the debate within the country. Lamenting that the debate has till date been primarily government-focused with some participation from civil society, he said this should be broad-based to include the legislature, people’s groups and grassroot movements so that those directly affected by climate change are involved in the discussion of adaptation and mitigation options. “The debate must be as inclusive as possible to enhance its legitimacy and credibility.”

A letter from the Editor


Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism
null
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jun 7, 2020 6:06:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/Climate-change-is-one-of-the-most-complex-problems-facing-humankind-today-Hamid-Ansari/article16883283.ece

Next Story