July 25, 2009


not as I do.

FROM- Post and Courier

Climate change conundrum

The International Panel on Climate Change has warned that unless emissions of carbon dioxide are restrained, the greenhouse effect could raise the world's temperature to a dangerous level during this century. A conference in Copenhagen will be charged to come up with a new international plan for averting this possible disaster, to replace the expiring Kyoto agreement in 2012. But the conference already faces an impasse over controls on greenhouse gas emissions by developing nations.

This isn't a new problem. In 1997 the Senate voted 95-0 to demand that any global warming treaty cover developing nations, and the United States never ratified the Kyoto pact because it failed to cap emissions by large developing economies. In the dozen years since, China has exceeded the United States as the largest emitter of carbon dioxide, and the rapidly growing Indian economy is not far behind.

Greenhouse gases emitted anywhere on earth affect the climate everywhere. As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in April, it is important that China and India accept emissions limits because "there is no sense in negotiating an agreement if it will have no practical impact in reducing emissions to safer levels."

Climate change was on the agenda when Mrs. Clinton visited India this week. She was rebuffed by India's environment minister, Jairam Rajesh, who said, "We are simply not in a position to take on legally binding emissions targets."

Mrs. Clinton seemed to suggest that there could still be a meeting of minds on the subject. But then she was blindsided by the head of the IPCC itself. Rajendra Pachauri, who since 2002 has chaired the group that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore, said that India could not accept greenhouse gas emissions limits because it will remain dependent on coal for a long time to come.

"Can you imagine 400 million people who do not have a light bulb in their homes," Dr. Pachauri told reporters, according to The Hindu, a leading Indian newspaper. "You cannot, in a democracy, ignore some of these realities, and as it happens with the resources of coal that India has we really don't have any choice but to use coal in the immediate short term."

Dr. Pachauri went on to criticize developed nations for failing to come up with a plan to carry out his organization's advice for a rapid reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions after 2015.

The obvious contradiction between the positions of the IPCC and its chairman exposes the folly of blindly following that organization's advice without a binding global agreement


No comments:

Post a Comment