India has emerged as the leading opponent to a binding treaty at the UN Climate Conference in Durban, South Africa (COP 17). India is the world’s third largest carbon emitter and the country’s C02 emissions are now growing at a rate of more than 9 percent a year. At COP 17, India has made it clear that it is choosing economic growth over efforts to reduce emissions.
India has joined with other emerging economies in advocating a renewal of the Kyoto Protocol. Under this treaty, developing nations like India and China have no obligations to make cuts to emissions and all the onus is put on Western industrialized countries.
However, Japan, Russia and Canada donot want to renew the protocol. The US has also withdrawn from Kyoto but it may be willing to sign on to the treaty if all nations (including India and China) participate in emissions reductions. Britain and the EU are trying to broker a compromise which would renew the protocol with a legally binding framework by which each country would be committed to take action over its CO2 emissions.
Failure to slow and reduce emissions will result in ongoing temperature increases which will prove disastrous for the planet and its inhabitants.
© 2011, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
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