What is Rio Summit/ Earth Summit ?
It was a United nations summit, held in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in 1992.
It led to creation of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
What is the UNFCCC?
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
Created because of the Rio Summit/ Earth Summit of 1992.
It is an international treaty for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Nearly every country on Earth is a party to the UNFCCC.
What is Conference of the Parties (COP)?
The nations, who‘ve signed UNFCCC convention, meet every year to discuss climate change strategy.
These meetings are called Conference of the Parties (COP)
The first COP (COP 1) was held in Berlin.
Third COP (COP 3) held in Kyoto, Japan. It was here the famous Kyoto Protocol came in to existence.
2011: COP held in Durban, S.Africa.
2012: COP will be held in Doha, Qatar in November 2012 (so it becomes important topic for next prelims!)
What is Kyoto Protocol?
1997: third meeting of UNFCC nation (also known as Conference of Parties/COP3),
In this meeting Kyoto Protocol was created.
Kyoto protocol wants the Industrialised nations to reduce their green house gas emission by around 5.2%
by 2012. (measured against 1990 levels)
Before dwelling much into Kyoto, some important terms.
What is “common but differentiated responsibilities”?
The developed countries such as US,UK have already polluted the atmosphere with greenhouse gases
(GHGs) through industrialization. So they‘re the one who created/started global warming and all the mess.
While Developing countries (India and Brazil) have started polluting the world only recently.
Therefore, the developing countries such as India, Brazil should share less of the burden of lowering
And Developed countries (US,UK) should bear more responsibility in fixing this global warming mess etc.
because they‘re the one more responsible for it.
So, while it is the ―Common‖ responsibility of every nation of this world, to reduce Green house gas
emission, but there should be some difference between the responsibility given to developed countries and
Kyoto Protocol follows that principle and assigns separate responsibilities to the countries.
Annex means some elaboration/detail given at the end of a book/treaty.
List of industrialized countries and economies in transition: US, France, Japan etc.
These countries had pledged to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the
A sub-group of Annex 1 Countries, these Annex II countries are required to give financial
assistance and technology to the developing countries (non-Annex countries).
Developing countries like India, Brazil, China.
They donot have compulsory binding targets to reduce green house gas emission, although they
are encouraged to do it.
It gives the list of 6 Green House gases that are responsible for the whole problem
Carbon dioxide (CO2);
Nitrous oxide (N2O);
Perfluorocarbons (PFCs); and
Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6)
This gives the Annex I countries (Developed countries) – compulsory binding targets to reduce
green house gas emission.
For example USA is required to cut down its emission by 7%
Back to Kyoto Protocol
Ok, so far we learned that
In Earth Summit, Rio De Janero, Brazil, they formed a treaty called UNFCCC
The UNFCCC gangsters meets every year, there is item song, gun-firing, consumption of desi-liquor and
deliberations on how to fix the global warming problem and these meetings are called Conference of
In third such COP meeting @Kyoto, Japan, they come up with an idea under which
o Developed nations like US, will compulsorily reduce their green house gas (GHG) emission by
o Developing nations like India, should reduce GHG emission but not compulsory.
Although various countries signed Kyoto Protocol in 1997, it did not came into force immediately.
Kyoto protocol came into force only after required number of Annex 1 Countries ratified it.
So this was achieved only in 2005.
Thus, Kyoto although signed in 1997, came into force in 2005.
Kyoto protocol: How does it actually work?
Another example: You know how broadband internet billing works= there are plans for example 2GB plan
for Rs.500 That means as long as you download music, movies etc. worth less than or equal to 2GB then
you‘ll get bill of Rs.500 but if you download more files above 2GB quota, then company will charge you
Rs.1 per MB of extra download.
Similarly, Under Kyoto Protocol, each Annex-B country is given emission target ―quota‖ (Kyoto Units).
For example, for the year 2009, Australia‘s allowed quota was 2,957,579,143 Kyoto units. (each unit is
equivalent to 1 ton of carbon dioxide)
Now, as long as Australia emits that much green house gas= no problem.
So first of all, Australian Government should do all steps to make sure it doesn‘t cross that quota for
o Making compulsory anti-pollution laws: for example a Tire making company with daily output of
200 tires must not emit more than 200 tonnes of green house gas per year.
o Promoting solar energy, reducing tax on solar cells, wind mill equipments etc.
o If a family buys second car then it will have to pay higher tax (just like China‘s one child policy
but with cars!)
o if a kid is found bunking his college lecture and loitering on his motorbike then he‘ll be fined for
polluting the environment.
But even after all these measures, if Australia wants to emit more green house gas, then it will have to buy
additional ‗quota or units‘ from another country. Kyoto Protocol allows three mechanisms to do so
#1 Emissions Trading / Carbon Trading
Suppose two Annex B parties are Japan and Australia.
Japan was given quota of 100 units
And Australia was given quota of 200 units.
But Austrialian Government is unable to maintain this limit and Australia emits 210 units of green house
gas, in given year.
On the other side, Japanese Government takes very strong steps to control emission and hence they only
emit 90 units of Green House gas. So it has spare 10 Kyoto Units.
Now, under Emission trading system, Australia can buy this 10 spare kyoto units from Japan and thus
remain within its limit.
In real life scenario, each annex B country makes law giving fixed quota to the companies.
o Suppose steel factory cannot emit more than 1 ton of Green house gas
o Tire company cannot emit more than 2 tonnes of green house gas.
o So if tire company owner buys superfine machinaries that produce less gas so he has some spare
credit/quota (say 1 ton)
o While Steel factory emits more than its allowed quota (suppose it was allowed 2 tonnes but
emitted 3 tonnes)
o Then the steel company can pay the tire company and get a certificate that we‘ve purchase 1 ton
quota from this xyz tire company. This Is the essence of ―Carbon Trading.‖
Here are some charts to understand it better. But the text in below image is hard to read (because the
original images were in low quality). Solution =just hold down ―Ctrl‖ Key on your keyboard and move
your mouse-wheel upwards and it‘ll zoom the image.
#2 Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)
Suppose Annex B country Australia is given emission quota of 200 units, but it emits 210 units of green
But Australia can finance a solar power project in some village of India (Non-Annex or developing
Country) and get certificate that the solar plant led to reduction of 10 units of green house gas. In this way,
Australia will remain in its quota/limit.
Similarly, suppose Australian Government has passed a law that a steel production company with output of
200 tonnes of steel per a day, must not emit more than 10 units of green house gas in a year.
o But this company wants to produce more steel, then its green house gas emission has increased to
11 units. (1 more unit above the quota)
o So this company can also do some solar-projects in India, Brazil etc. and get a certificate that it
has led to reduction of 1 unit of GHG emission. = problem solved.
#3 Joint Implementation (JI)
This is identical to CDM.
In CDM, Australia can do good project in a non-Annex country (developing country) e.g. India.
In Joint Implementation, Australia can do the good project in another Annex B country e.g. Japan to meet
Why USA did not ratify Kyoto Protocol?
US President George W Bush refused to ratify Kyoto protocol saying that it would gravely damage the US
for example a US steel company would need to either buy Carbon Credits from another company or invest
in some projects in a developing country), while an Indian or Chinese Steel company has no such
obligation so their cost of production = low, hence they can sell their products @lower MRP = US steel
company will loose customers.
So US Government feels is that the treaty is fatally flawed, because it does not require developing countries
(especially India and China) to commit to emissions reductions.
After President Bush, President Obama too, didn‘t ratify Kyoto protocol for the same reason. (plus we
should also understand that the powerful US industrialist lobby may stop election funds to a candidate, if he
is in favor of Kyoto protocol, so USA is unlikely to ratify Kyoto or any such future protocols that are
Canada Quits Kyoto protocol
In 2011, Canada, become the first country to quit the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, saying the 1997
accord was handicapped because top green house emitters like the United States and China not covered by
it. (Because USA has refused to ratify the treaty and China being an Annex II country –has no compulsory
responsibility to cut down emission.)
What is the Copenhagen Accord?
Recall that UNFCCC countries meet every year and it is called Conference of Parties (COP).
15th such meeting was held @Copenhagen, Denmark = COP15
In the meeting, the BASIC bloc—Brazil, South Africa, India and China—and the U.S., came up with a
This agreement is known as the Copenhagen Accord.
It says all countries should pledge to reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emission but all of the pledges made
under the Copenhagen Accord are voluntary; There are no binding obligations placed on these pledges
by the UNFCCC or any other international body.
UNFCCC acknowledged the Copenhagen Accord and has assisted in collecting the GHG reduction pledges
of various countries.
Copenhagen Accord also lays the groundwork for financial commitments from developed countries
(US,UK) to developing countries (India,Brazil etc) for climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts.
Important Players in climate change
The First commitment period of Kyoto will end in 2012.
That‘s why, the next meeting (COP18, Doha, Qatar in Nov‘2012) becomes very critical.
So nowadays UNECC nations are trying to form factions (small gangs) to discuss what should be their
stand in that meeting?
o either extend commitments under Kyoto or
o create a successor of Kyoto Protocol: a post-2012 international climate treaty.
China is the world leader in total annual Green House Gas emissions
U.S. is second.
EU is third.
United States is the only Annex I country that has not ratified the Kyoto Protocol.
In line with the Copenhagen Accord, the U.S. has pledged a 17% reduction in GHG emissions, against a
2005 baseline, by 2020. (but this is not legally binding).
As we saw earlier, US is not in favour of any legally binding commitments. Besides, Obama has to face
election in November.
Brazil, South Africa, India and China,
this group includes the world‘s major emerging economies and some of its largest emitters
together, the group accounts for around 30% of global GHG emissions.
BASIC countries, along with the US, were the authors of the Copenhagen Accord and will continue to be
some of the most influential players in the negotiations.
All of the BASIC countries have ratified the Kyoto Protocol.
But they‘re not under any binding obligation to meet a specified target. (because these countries are not
part of Annex B countries of Kyoto Protocol).
Under the Copenhagen Accord, China and India have pledged to reduce their carbon intensity—the amount
of GHG emissions per unit GDP—by 40-45% and 20-25%, respectively, against 2005 levels by 2020.
(again not legally binding).
BASIC countries recently met in Brazil in September 2012, and declared their intentions (what they want in
COP meeting @Doha, Qatar in Nov.2012):
1. rich countries should take on more of a burden to reduce emissions because of their historical
contribution to global warming.
2. new agreement should ―respect the principles of equity and common but differentiated
3. new Kyoto commitment period should start on January 1, 2013
European Union (EU)
EU is a Party to both the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol.
EU is the 3rd largest GHG polluter, accounting for about 12% of global emissions
EU states have ratified Kyoto.
Alliance of Small Island State (AOSIS)
Not really a ‗player‘, these are the future victims if green house gas emission is not reduced.
AOSIS is an team of 43 small island and low-lying coastal countries (Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba
More green house gas = rise in global temperature = ice melts= sea level rise =many of these areas to
3 COPS under UNFCC
First, understand the basic
COP= conference of parties.
*CMP= Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (and Kyoto is under UNFCC).
Before looking @18th COP (Doha, Qatar), let‘s get an overview of what happened during
17th COP, Durban (2011)?
Following were the key outcomes of 17th Conference held in Durban, S.Africa (2011)
It established a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, which will begin on
January 1, 2013 and end either on December 2017 or December 2020.
Japan, Russia and Canada refused to join the second commitment period under the Kyoto
post 2020 arrangements would be finalized by 2015 and implemented from 2020.
quantified emission limitation and reduction objectives (QELROs) for developed country
Kyoto Protocol Parties will be determined during 2012.
To discuss the post 2020 arrangements for global climate change regime.
web-based registry was also agreed upon to be set up under the management of the
This registry will serve as a platform for the developing countries to upload their
Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs).
to support projects, programmes, policies and other activities in developing nations.
The Fund will start operating from 2013
developed nations will provide money in this fund
18th COP Doha (2012)?
18th session of the COP to the UNFCCC, was held @Doha, Qatar.
It has resulted in a set of decisions (clubbed together as „Doha Climate Gateway‟)
The first commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol was ending on 31 December 2012.
In 17th COP (Durban, S.Africa, 2011) we had agreed that Kyoto‘s extension will be either upto on
December 2017 or December 2020.
But here @18th COP (Doha, Qatar, 2012), we agree that second period of Kyoto protocol
o Will start from 1 January 2013 and
o End @31st Dec 2020.
o =Kyoto extended for total 8 years.
What is their stand?
Lolz, as developing countries, we are not legally required to cut down our emissions, so
we‘ve nothing to lose here. (Actually more cash to gain via Green climate fund!)
WAIT! This stupid protocol doesn‘t bind China or India cut their emissions! The whole
concept of ―CBDR‖ (Common But Differentiated Responsibility) is a big joke. Why
should we be the sacrificial lambs?We don‘t want to be in this second commitment period
hahaha, be it first commitment or second commitment, I had never ratified the Kyoto
protocol. So, adios suckers.
Kyoto Mechanism Continue
We‘ll will also extend Protocol‘s Market Mechanisms – the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), Joint
Implementation (JI) and International Emissions Trading (IET).
(although there is a problem / challenge with trading of surplus AAUs. Explained @bottom of this article).
Agreement for 2020
We‘ll speedily work toward a climate change agreement applicable to all countries from 2020, to be
adopted by 2015.
We‘ll scale up our efforts before 2020 to meet the gap in global ambition for emissions reduction.
We‘ll launch a robust process to review the long-term temperature goal.
This will start in 2013 and conclude by 2015. This review will be is a reality check on how big the climate
change threat is and what further action is needed to prevent it.
Germany, UK, France, Denmark,
Sweden and EU
They‘ve reiterated commitment to mobilize US$100 billion to
developing countries by 2020.
But they didnot give any specific targets for mid-term financing
they made Finance pledges worth total $6 billion for period upto
Green Climate Fund
(Its office) will be hosted in the Songdo district in Incheon city of
Most likely to start operation in 2014.
By the way,
What is Green Climate Fund?
financial mechanism of the UNFCCC
to transfer money from the developed to the developing world, so they can counter climate change
16th Cancun COP launched Green climate fund
18th COP decided that Green climate fund will be hosted in S.Korea
Misc outcomes in DOHACOP11
We‘ll strive for gender balance in our countries negotiating teams.
for vulnerable population (e.g. those living in costal areas that‘ll get submerged in future).
We‘ll create concrete institutional arrangements to help them
parties agreed for ways to implement National Adaptation Plans for least developed countries
also funding and other support for LDCs
Recall that in 17th COP (Durban,Africa, 2011) this web registry was launched.
Now the parties have completed a registry to record for developing country that seek recognition
or financial support for their mitigation programs.
climate change education and training
create public awareness
enable the public to participate in climate change decision-making
enhance the efforts to fight deforestation.
under the Kyoto Protocol‘s Clean Development Mechanism
we‘ll work on projects to capture and store carbon emissions
developed countries will help transfer (secret james bond) technology to the developing countries
so they can curb their GHG emissions.
In some cases, if one country tries to reduce emissions, it could result in negative economic or
social consequences for other countries.
In Doha, governments discussed measures to address such consequences in a special forum.
Just like RIO+20. Here too, the developed nations didn‘t give firm time table for money
transfer. With more and more players exiting the game, the promose of raising 100 billion
USD at the end of 2020, seems like a ―mission impossible‖.
Vulnerable countries vociferously demanded compensation mechanism for loss and damage
resulting from climate change. But no agreement was reached.
Agriculture is responsible for 14% of the global emissions.
But there was no agreement among parties to cut down emission from this sector.
(because developing countries like India don‘t want any ―haste‖ in this matter.)
Agro kept out
EU says will raise its target of cutting emissions by 20 percent by 2020 to 30 percent
only if other countries showed sufficient commitment.
There is a provision in the agreement for countries to tighten their emissions targets
but many developing countries think that by the time any review is instigated it may
already be too late to keep temperature rises below 2°C.
although COP18 itself was held @Doha Qatar but lot of meetings between parties
were done in various countries.
It is easier for big MNCs to lobby at so many places.
But for an NGO/Civil society it is not easy to participate / travel in so many places
and voice their concerns due to lack of money/funding. Thus UNFCC itself restricts
participation of people.
leave the game
Belarus has hinted that it may withdraw from Kyoto.
Kazakhstan and Ukraine also in same mood.
Problem: AAU surplus selling
What is AAU?
AAU=Assigned amount units
AAUs are tradable emission permits under the Kyoto Protocol.
Observe the words:
Tradable= can be sold from one country to another. Countries whose emissions are above their emissions
reduction target, can purchase AAUs from other countries that have surpluses.
Emission permits= One AAU (permit) allows a country to emit 1 metric tonne of CO 2.
By the way ―Hot air‖= term used to describe surplus AAUs held by Russia, Ukraine and other former
soviet bloc countries.
@DOHACOP18, Parties agreed that if any country had accumulated surplus AAU (permits) during 1st
period of Kyoto then those permits will be valid for second period also.
1st Problem= Russia has left the game, so those permits are useless for them.
Russia wants to sell away those AAU surplus to other players who‘re still in the game for second period of
Kyoto protocol (2013-2020).
This leads us to second problem
@DOHACOP, parties agreed that
Surplus AAUs (from 1st period) can be sold and purchased during 2 nd period of Kyoto.
BUT condition: the selling party must be in the game for 2nd period (2013-2020)
2nd problem: Russia has lot of surplus AAUs. But Russia has withdrawn itself from second commitment period of
Kyoto. Therefore, Russia cannot sell its surplus AAU permits to other players who are still in the game e.g.
Germany or France.
What is Rio+20?
The Earth Summit was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992. Therefore it is also known as RIO Summit.
Rio+20 – the short name for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.
It took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 2012
Since there is twenty years of gap (2012-1992) between these two summits, the latest RIO Summit is
nicknamed ―RIO +20‖
What was the objective of RIO+20?
By this conference UN wanted to bring together governments, international institutions and major (NGO) groups to
agree on a range of smart measures for
Sustainable development. And this Sustainble Development has three pillers
1. economic development,
2. social development
3. environmental protection.
What is sustainable development?
You might have seen one ad in which a kid and his dad are sitting in the car. They‘re waiting for the green
light but dad has kept the car engine on. The kid says ―when I grow up, I‘ll open a bicycle repair shop,
because the way you‘re using petrol, there won‘t be any left for future generation.‖
Sustainable Development is reverse of that.
Sustainable development means, meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the
ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Rio 20: 2 Themes
Official discussions will focus on two main themes
How to build a green economy to achieve sustainable development
How to lift people out of poverty, including support for developing countries for taking ‗green‘ path for
Rio 20: Seven priority areas
Economic recession has taken a toll on jobs
There will be over 500 million job seekers over the next 10 years.
There is need to create more ―Green jobs‖= jobs in agriculture, industry, services and
administration that can save the environment.
Energy is essential for jobs security, climate change, food production or increasing incomes.
Cities are hubs for ideas, commerce, culture, science, productivity, social development and
9. Cities have enabled people to advance socially and economically.
10. But Common city challenges include congestion, lack of basic services, poor hygiene and
sanitation, unsafe drinking water.
11. Climate change is putting even more pressure on food security.
12. On earth there will be additional 2 billion people by 2050.
13. Right now, our soils, freshwater, oceans, forests and biodiversity are being rapidly degraded
to increase the food production.
14. So Rio 20 is the place to rethink how we grow, share and consume our food.
15. There is sufficient fresh water on the planet.
16. But due to bad economics or poor infrastructure, every year millions of people, most of them
children, die from diseases associated with inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene
17. Water scarcity, poor water quality and inadequate sanitation negatively impact food security,
livelihood choices and educational opportunities for poor families across the world
18. Drought afflicts some of the world‘s poorest countries, worsening hunger and malnutrition.
19. By 2050, at least one in four people is likely to live in a country affected by chronic or
recurring shortages of fresh water.
20. Our rainwater, drinking water, weather, climate, coastlines, much of our food, and even the
oxygen in the air we breathe, are all ultimately provided and regulated by the sea.
21. Oceans and seas have been vital conduits for trade and transportation. Careful management
of this essential global resource is a key feature of a sustainable future
Disasters are caused by earthquakes, floods, droughts, hurricanes, tsunamis etc.
They have devastating impacts on people, environments and economies.
Smart choices help us recover from disasters, while poor choices make us more vulnerable.
These choices relate to how we grow our food, where and how we build our homes, how our
financial system works, what we teach in schools and more. Therefore RIO 20 aims to
change the way these choices are made.
Rio 20: India‟s stand
No commitment (unlike Salman Khan)
India does not want legally binding commitments or targets for sustainable development. [We
want something like Copenhagen Accord. Recall Kyoto Protocol Article]
WTO comes into the RIO 20 picture because international trade is important for sustainable Development and
Anyways, idea/problem/crux is this
WTO wants that there should be free flow of goods and services between nations, without heavy
taxes/import duty etc. things.
But USA gives heavy subsidies to its farmers, so they can grow and sell cotton and corn very cheaply. So if
there is a totally free system, US can flood its agro products in India, and our farmers cannot compete.
India doesn‘t like this and wants protection.
So Technically speaking ,
India wants For a fair and equitable global trade regime to achieve development.
India wants export subsidies for agricultural products (by US/EU etc big players) to be curbed.
Similarly, India wants removal of non-tariff barriers affecting labour intensive exports from developing
And enforcement of the special and differential treatment provisions of the WTO.
Apart from that, India also wants need for greater representation of developing countries, in the Bretton Woods
Institutions (IMF, World Bank).
Give us the damn secret technology!
Most environment-friendly/green technologies are with the developed countries.
RIO 20 should facilitate the transfer of these technologies from developed countries (US) to developing
countries (India) on concessional terms (i.e. @reasonable price).
India also wants Early operationalization of the Nagoya Protocol (for Access to Genetic Resources and the
Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS))
creation of a ‗Sustainable Development Fund‘ for providing finances to the developing countries.
In short, India wants adequate flow of resources and technologies to developing countries.
Green stimulus packages
Just like the Governments round the world, India is also promoting public and private investment in sectors
like renewable energy, forest conservation and water management.
Indian Government has been investing and improving the urban mass transportation, railways, public water
supply and sanitation, and common facilities for pollution control and waste management, forest quality,
watershed development, conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity
Don‟t lecture us in Subsidy
in practice governments of developing countries give subsidies in merit goods for e.g. food, public health,
drinking water and primary education and agriculture etc.
For example cheap diesel and electricity to farmers, concessional bus and railway passes for students,
kerosene and ration to poor people and so on.
India says that these subsidies should be left to the sovereign rights of the States as per national policies and
circumstance. (and RIO 20 or any other international conference shouldn‘t put any limit, target or legal
commitment on it.)
Don‟t lecture us on Eco-tax reform
It is based on the polluter pays principle i.e., the polluter pays the cost of environmental damage he imposes
on the society.
The eco tax reform initiated in India includes tax exemptions and lower taxes for certain environment friendly goods.
But India feel there is no ‗one size fits all‘ solution on eco-tax reforms and so RIO 20 shouldn‘t lecture on
this (or impose commitments)
And Sustainable development is a much larger canvas than merely addressing the environmental issues.
You‟ll not decide our Sectoral priorities
Example of sectoral priorities= poverty eradication, afforestation, watershed development in dry lands,
rural connectivity, mass transport, protecting biodiversity, clean water, rural connectivity, creation of postharvest management facilities, rural renewable energy systems and so on.
India feels that Sectoral priorities are a matter of national choice, based on the stage of development,
national circumstances, domestic resource availability, and external support both technical and financial.
So RIO 20 shouldn‘t lecture that ―you should first give priority to mass transport and then to land
degradation. And you should allot xyz% of your GDP in this sector etc.‖
To sum, what India wants is Principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities. (Explained in
Ok, so far we saw RIO 20 is all about sustainable Development and poverty removal. We also saw India wants (to
be more precise, we saw what India doesn‘t want through RIO like summits!).
Anyways the leaders of various Nations etc met in Rio De Janeiro in June 2012.
From my earlier articles, you‘re already aware how these summits are conducted.
Rio 20: Outcome of the summit
The primary result of the conference was the nonbinding document titled ―The Future We Want―
Under this 49 paged document, the nations agreed on 283 topics.
It is all lawyer-ish, diplomatic, verbose thing. Similar to President‘s speech before 26 th January and PM‘s
speech from Red Ford on 15th August…‖We acknowledge this, we reaffirm our commitment to that…and
blah blah blah.‖ Just like the pack of Cheetos/potato chips- the plastic bag looks very big and voluminous
but nutritional value is close to zero.
Anyways, here are the important (and easy to remember) points. You don‘t have to mug all of them, but they should
serve well as fodder material whenever you‘re faced with essay/ interview questions on sustainable development.
The Nations participating in RIO 20 summit, agreed on following things.
We urge Parties to the UNFCCC and Parties to the Kyoto Protocol to fully implement their commitments
We reaffirm the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. (similar in Kyoto)
We‘ll explore alternatives to GDP as a measure of wealth that take environmental and social factors into
We‘ll phase out fossil fuel subsidies.
We agree that Eradicating poverty is the greatest global challenge facing the world today and it is essential
for sustainable development.
We reaffirm our commitment to fully implement following conventions/protocols (and or take follow up
action on them)
Agenda 21 = it is a non-binding, voluntarily implemented action plan of the United Nations with regards to
sustainable development. It is a product of the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992.
Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)
Convention on Biological Diversity
Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources
CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora)
Basel Convention, the Rotterdam Convention and the Stockholm Convention. (Related to Chemical and
Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)
United Nations Convention against Corruption.
Information and communication technology (ICT) is important for the flow of information between
governments and the public. So we‘ll work toward improved access to ICT, especially broadband network and services, and bridge thedigital divide.
9. We‘ll strengthen UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and give it more voluntary fund (money).
10. We encourage each country to consider the implementation of green economy policies
11. We decide to establish a universal intergovernmental high level political forum: This forum will provide
political leadership, guidance, and recommendations for sustainable development.
12. We‘ll improve Public Mass transport system (bus, railway) with clean fuels and vehicles for efficient
movement of people and goods, particularly from in rural areas. Because environmentally sound, safe and
affordable transportation is important for sustainable Development.
13. In cities, we‘ll try for affordable housing, clean drinking water and sanitation; healthy air quality;
generation of decent jobs; and improved urban planning and slum upgrading.
14. We‘ll try to provide universal health coverage.
15. We‘ll strengthen our fight against communicable diseases like AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, influenza, polio
16. We‘ll strengthen our national policies for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases
(NCDs) like cancers, heart attack, high BP and diabetes.
17. We recognize that reducing water and chemical pollution leads to positive effects on health.
18. We commit to reduce maternal and child mortality, and to improve the health of women, men, youth and
19. We‘ll encourage family planning because it is essential for women‘s health and advancing gender equality.
We recognize the importance of job creation
We call on countries to enhance infrastructure investment
we support national efforts to provide new job opportunities to the poor in both rural and urban areas
workers should have access to education, skills, healthcare, social security, fundamental rights
,occupational safety and health.
24. We‘ll promote and protect the human rights and fundamental freedom of all migrants regardless of the
25. We therefore commit to protect, and restore, the health, productivity of oceans and marine ecosystems.
26. We are committed to United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), provides the legal
framework for the conservation and the sustainable use of the oceans.
27. We recognize the importance of the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity beyond areas
of national jurisdiction.
28. We‘ll take initiatives to fix ocean acidification and the impacts of climate change on marine and coastal
29. We‘ll take action against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities.
30. Health of oceans and marine biodiversity are negatively affected by marine pollution, including marine
debris like plastic, organic pollutants, heavy metals, and nitrogen-based compounds, from a number of
marine and land-based sources, including shipping and land runoff.
31. We commit to take action to reduce the incidence and impacts of such pollution on marine ecosystems.
32. We note that sea level rise and coastal erosion are serious threats for many coastal regions and islands
particularly in developing countries and, in this regard, we call on the international cooperation.
33. We‘ll help small island developing States (SIDS) in fixing coastal erosion under Barbados Programme of
Action and Mauritius Strategy for Implementation.
34. We‘ll help Least developed countries (L.D.C) in mass transport and energy infrastructure.
35. We‘ll establish early warning systems as part of effective disaster risk to reduce economic and social
36. we‘ll launch the Green Climate Fund. It‘ll help technology development and transfer and capacity-building
in developing countries
We‘ll encourage investment in sustainable tourism, eco -tourism and cultural tourism,
We‘ll fight illicit trafficking in wildlife (under CITES)
We‘ll fight Desertification, land degradation and drought.
Mountain ecosystems play a crucial role in providing water resources to a large portion of the world‘s
population. But Mountain Ecosystem is in threat due to climate change, deforestation and forest
degradation, land use change, land degradation, and natural disasters; and mountain glaciers around the
world are retreating and getting thinner. So we‘ll try to fix it.
41. We‘ll make national polices on sound management of chemicals and waste- such as electronic waste and
42. We are committed to chemicals and waste conventions, namely the Basel Convention, the Rotterdam
Convention and the Stockholm Convention,
43. We reduce, reuse and recycle waste (3Rs) the electronic waste and plastics
44. We‘ll phase-out of ozone depleting substances (ODS) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
45. minerals and metals make a major contribution to the world economy and modern societies.
46. governments need strong capacities to develop, manage, and regulate their mining industries in the interest
of sustainable development.
47. We‘ll prevent the illicit financial flows from mining activities.
48. We‘ll enhance agricultural research, training and education to improve agricultural productivity
49. We‘ll take microcredit initiatives for the poor.
50. We underline the need to address floods, droughts, and water scarcity.
51. Women have a vital role to play in achieving sustainable development. we resolve to promote gender
equality and women‘s empowerment and to ensure their full and effective participation in sustainable
development policies, programmes and decision-making at all levels
52. Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)
53. we commit to creating an enabling environment for improving the situation of women and girls
everywhere, particularly in rural areas and ethnic minorities.
54. We invite donors, international organizations like the UN to support gender equality and women‘s
empowerment projects in developing countries
55. We‘ll promote Sustainable Development awareness among youth, for non-formal education.
56. Millenium Development goals will expire in 2015. So We‘ll form a group to create new set of Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs)
57. This open working group shall be constituted with full involvement of relevant stakeholders and (bogus)
civil society and scientific community.
58. These Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) should be action-oriented, concise and easy to
communicate, limited in number,
59. These Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) should be universally applicable to all countries while
taking into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development and respecting
national policies and priorities. (Just like INDIA wanted)
60. We should also bear in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all formula that will guarantee development
effectiveness. The specific situation of each country needs to be fully considered. (Just like INDIA wanted)
61. We reiterate our support for South-South cooperation. [means exchange of resources, technology, and
knowledge between developing countries.]
62. We also recognize that South-South cooperation complements rather than substitutes for North-South
63. We‘ll fight corruption and illicit financial flows at both the national and international levels because it vital
for poverty eradication, the fight against hunger and sustainable development.
64. We‘ll fully implement the United Nations Convention against Corruption.
65. We urge the Members of the WTO to conclude the Doha Development Agenda.
66. We also urge them to addressing important issues affecting international trade, such as, trade distorting
subsidies and trade in environmental goods and services. (JUST LIKE India WANTED)
Compiled from various newspaper columns.
RIO+20 outcome has been severely criticised for being devoid of any goals or action. It has been dubbed
―Rio minus 20″ or ―The future we don‟t want‖.
RIO +20 did not deliver legally binding commitments, just forming more groups and stating, repeating and
and rephrasing the obvious.
Ban Ki Moo said in the summit:
old model for economic development and social advancement is broken. Let us not forget the scarcest resource of
all: time. We are running out of time. We no longer have the luxury to defer difficult decisions.
(i.e. WTO, Kyoto, …everywhere nations donot agree on some tangible goals. Hence more and more committees are
formed and discussions are held rather that actually doing something solid.‖)
From US / Western point of view
India and China are trillion dollar nations (GDP wise) and yet they always play the ―developing nation poor people
victim card‖ and oppose legally binding commitments. They can and should take more initiatives given their power
Mohan did not roar in RIO 20
India has the edge to contribute globally, especially in the areas of decentralised energy access, mobile
telephony, distant healthcare delivery, e-governance and digital information services.
(AND YET) I‘ve not heard India‘s voice here at all. It seems we are happy with the situation and want the
status quo to be maintained.
We are losing our leadership edge.
India has to stop hiding behind the poor. India will continue to be one of the most promising economies for
the next 30 years. India should wake up to seize the opportunity and try to be a ―real‖ world leader.
International Summits will never work
All the much-hyped global summits on environmental policy have fallen short of expectations.
As a result, many ecologists, activists, and business leaders believe that progress on environmental issues
must be made locally with the private sector, without counting on the help of international accords.
When it comes to environment protection, climate change, wildlife protection, there are multiple
conventions and each convention has ―parties‖.
Those parties hold conferences at regular interval.
such conferences are called ―conference of Parties‖ COP.
In a single calendar year there can be more than on COP (because these are different conventions).
Climate change (UNFCC)
illegal trade of endangered species (CITES)
let‘s focus on COP related to CBD (Convention on biological diversity)
COP Conferences under CBD
PyeongChang, S.Korea (theme = Biodiversity forSustainable Development)
India and CBD
The Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) has near universal membership with 193 countries. The USA is the
only major country that is not a Party.
India has ratified the CBD.
India also enacted the Biological Diversity Act in 2002 and notified the Rules in 2004 to give effect to the
provisions of the CBD.
Now India has got presidency of CBD for two years. (2012-14). previously it was with Japan.
Total 170 countries participated in the conference.
Current decade (2011-2020) has been declared as the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity and United
Nations Decade for Deserts and the Fight against Desertification.
COP11-HYDCBD is the first conference during above special ‗decades‘.
Just few days before the official COP11, Hyderabad also hosted the 6 th meeting of parties to Cartagena
protocol on biosafety (under CBD). This is known as COP-MOP-6.
Was developed by National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad for the Government of India. This logo
symbolises the cycle of life with a tiger, a dolphin, a bird and a women with grains depicting linkage of
biodiversity with livelihoods.
On top is the slogan in Sanskrit with English translation ‗Nature Protects if She is Protected‘
COP11(HYDCBD): Outcomes/ Agreements
―HYDCBD‖ is not the official name. Just visualize Eleven cops (policemen) hiding kabaad (trash)=
11th COP was held in Hyderabad for Convention on Biodiversity.
The Previous COP (#10) was held @ Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan in 2010.
Anyways, let‘s check the outcome of COP-11(HYDCBD)
What did they say?
We‘ll double (2x) the funding to help developing states to meet Aichi Biodiversity
Targets, by 2015.
roughly it means, developing countries will get about 30 billion USD=~Rs. 1,50,000
crore over the next 8 years.
For the first time, developing countries at COP 11, including India and several
African states, pledged additional cash above and beyond their core funding towards
India committed over US$ 50 million.
By 2015, We‘ll prepare national financial plans for biodiversity and increase
domestic Expenditure for it.
COP-11(HYDCBD) gave much focus to Ocean, marine biodiversity.
Countries agreed to pay more attention to Sargasso Sea, the Tonga archipelago and key corals sites off the
coast of Brazil.
middle of the North Atlantic Ocean.
South Pacific Ocean.
Tonga is a sovereign state.
We‘ll factor biodiversity into environmental impact assessments (EIA) for infra/development projects in
We call upon the fisheries management bodies to play a stronger role in protecting biodiversity.
#2a: Ocean: Protected Planet 2012
Protected planet 2012=it is name of the report released by UNEP.
This report says
o Half of the world‘s richest biodiversity zones remain entirely unprotected.
o If you want to meet the Aichi Biodiversity targets, then you‘ve declare an additional 8 million
square kilometers of marine and coastal areas as protected.
We, the COP11(HYDCBD) players, will show these results to UN General assembly and ask them amend
United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea accordingly + international agreement for biodiversity
conservation in marine areas beyond national jurisdiction.
#2b: Ocean: Research
We‘ll do more research into adverse effect of
underwater noise from ships on marine biodiversity, and
Climate change impacts on coral reefs,
What is Marine Litter?
These are items / materials that
People deliberately discard/throw into the sea or rivers or on beaches.
indirectly brought to sea via rivers, sewage, storm water or winds;
Lost at sea in accident/bad weather.
#3 Online forum
National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans Forum (NBSAP Forum) was launched at COP11
This online forum will provide easy-to-access, targeted information such as best practices, guidelines and
learning tools for countries.
This online forum is joint initiative by
3. GEF Global Environment Facility
In Africa, forest is often called ‗bush‘, so meat from jungle= bushmeat.
Large scale hunting of monkeys, elephants, wild-buffalos etc. for ‗bushmeat‘ = led to Empty forest
Empty forest syndrome?
You already know that protection of jungle and wildlife=both important.
Empty forest syndrome = jungles are still visible but animals gone.
In other words, Empty forest syndrome is a situation in which animals disappear at a much faster rate than their
habitats. WHY? Because
Bushmeat (as explained above)
Trading of Skin, Hides, tusks etc. for making jewelry, trophies etc.
Making Traditional medicine from animal-bones etc. (and it can even cure AIDS and Cancer!)
Trading of exotic pets endangered birds, orangutan etc.)
Anyways back to the main topic (outcome of COP11)
In Central Africa, gorillas, chimpanzees and many more wild animals are hunted as bush meat is the only
cheap source of protein and food security for the poor communities.
The players @COP11 (HYDCBD) adoped ―Hyderabad bushmeat recommendations‖ for ‗sustainable‘ use
and Management of bushmeat species to prevent the empty forest syndrome.
#5: Champions and their pledges
COP-11 invited parties and partner organizations to make pledges to support one or more Aichi
Pledged to give 50 million USD
pledged to make their entire country a Biosphere Reserve.
Maldives: Biosphere reserve “nation”
In support of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets (of CBD), the Republic of Maldives has pledged to become the
first nation where the entire country and its Exclusive Economic Zone will be a Biosphere Reserve.
First they‘ll implement biodiversity protection plans in their different atolls in a stepwise fashion, till the
Then they‘ll apply to UNSECO to declare Maldives as a Biosphere Reserve. (under UNESCO‘s Man and
the Biosphere (MAB) program.)
#6: Nagoya Ratification
Nagoya Protocol=under CBD,
For sharing benefits from genetic resources.
Official name= Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of
Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS).
India has already ratified Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit sharing.
Now that we‘ve got 2 years‘ presidency for CBD, India will work tirelessly to get the Protocol ratified by
50 countries so that it comes into force during the Presidency of India.
We‘ll ask main economic sectors, such as business and development organizations, to integrate biodiversity
objectives in their plans and programmes.
We‘ll enhance collaboration between the CBD and UN climate change initiatives including Reducing
Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+).
CBD Secretariat to monitor and control trade, movement of invasive alien species.
encourage parties to expand the use of biofuel, although with precautions
Encourage parties to adopt Addis ababa principles (on sustainable use of biodiversity), in their national
Science Express Biodiversity Special
A train to generate awareness about biodiversity conservation. (actually this started way before the actual
COP11 (HYDCBD) took place. But the train was stationed @Hyderabad during the conference.)
Collaborative initiative of Ministry of Environment & Forests + Department of Science and Technology.
will cover over 100 stations in two years.
Has total Of the 16 coaches
8 of them are solely dedicated to showcasing the biodiversity spread across all the bio-geographical zones
Museum in Hyd
Government already established a a commemorative Pylon and a Biodiversity Garden in Hyderabad for
Now they‘re also planning to establish a Biodiversity Museum on that site.
Rajiv Gandhi award
Indian Government has proposed to institute Rajiv Gandhi International Award for Harnessing Biodiversity for
What is UNEP?
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
An organization under United Nations. (1972)
The United Nations General Assembly elects the UNEP governing council members.
HQ= Nairobi, Kenya
Two important terms associated with UNEP
UNEP keeps constant surveillance on environment, through this program.
Global Environment Outlook (GEO)
UNEP publishes this report.5th such report (GEO-5) released in 2012.
Conference held in Rio-De-Janerio, Brazil in 1992
Formal name: United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED)
What is the connection between UNEP and Earth Summit?
In the late 80s, the UNEP members decided we should have some sort of international agreement to protect
They worked on a draft Agreement. (Nairobi Conference)
In 1992, when Earth Summit was held in Rio, Brazil, these UNEP people put that draft-agreement on the
table, and requested various countries to sign it.
This signed international agreement is known as ―Convention on Biodiversity.‖ (Official name
=Convention on Biological Diversity)
Kids of Earth Summit
Earth summit, 1992 gave birth to many things. But three important kids were
Reverse Climate Change
Promote Sustainable Development
Earth Summit‘s result
As the year progressed, these three kids (CBD, UNFCC, Agenda 21) grew up, had their own kids.
Reverse Climate Change
Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety
can summarize this
Earth Summit=> CBD (Cartagena+ Aichi+Nagoya) +UNFCCC (Kyoto+Copanheggan) +Agenda 21 (RIO+20)
What is CBD?
Convention =International Agreement.
Convention on Biodiversity is the brainchild of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
HQ= Montreal, Canada. It works under UNEP.
What does CBD want?
Convention on Biodiversity wants three things and it leads to three more things.
Safe use of bio-technology
Stop unfair use of Genetic resources
COP meetings, Aichi Targets.
Cartagena Biosafety Protocol
Nagoya Genetic Resources Protocol
Objective#1: Protect Biodiversity
Welcome back. Convention on Biodiversity, as the name suggests = has something to do with biodiversity.
CBD accepts/wants following things
Biological diversity is a common concern of humankind.
States have sovereign rights over their own biological resources.
But at the same time, States are responsible for conserving their biological diversity.
Therefore, States are required to create National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAP).
Sustainable use of biological diversity =important for food security, health and other needs of public.
Biological diversity is being significantly reduced by certain human activities.
But We‘ll protect biodiversity via in-situ and ex-situ methods.
We recognize vital role of women and NGOs in protecting biodiversity.
Our rich members (developed countries) will give money and (secret James Bond) technology to the
middle class and poor members (developing nations and Least developed countries)
10. We‘ll give special attention to the least developed countries (L.D.C.) and small island States, because
they‘re more vulnerable.
11. We‘ll also give special attention to developing countries, especially those with arid and semi- arid zones,
coastal and mountainous areas.
12. + add public awareness, sensitization, knowledge -sharing and other diplomatic-legal fodder.
Where is the money?
To fund various projects, activities under CBD, you need truckload of cash.
This cash comes through an organization named as Global Environment Facility (GEF).
GEF gets money from world bank, UN, various (rich) nations and trust organization, companies etc.
GEF gives that money to finance many environment related activies including
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
How does CBD work?
Convention = international agreement.
Legally speaking, ―agreement‖ involves two or more ―parties‖.
So CBD doesn‘t have ―members‖ it has ―parties‖: rich parties on one side, middle class and poor parties on
These parties meet at regular interval. These meetings are called Conference of Parties (COP).
In these Meetings, the leaders, delegates consume desi-liquor (to provide sustainable livelihood to local
communities) and evaluate their past achievements; lay down future course of action, money and
technology transfer to third world.
Each party has one vote. Decision taken by majority vote. These meetings led to Cartagena Biosafety
10th Such meeting was held at Nagoya, Japan (2010). It led to Nagoya Protocol on Genetic Resources +
11th such meeting (COP-11) was held in Hyderabad, India in 2012
COP-10 under CBD
The Parties (Countries) under Convention of Biodiversity (CBD), meet at regular interval.
These meetings are called Conference of Parties (COP)
10th such meeting was held at Aichi precinct (district) of Nagoya, Japan.
This COP-10 gave birth to two things
Nagoya Protocol on Genetic Resources
Aichi Targets for biodiversity
What is Aichi Target?
In the COP-10 meeting, the parties agreed that previous biodiversity protection targets are not achieved, So we need
to do comeup with new plans and targets.
This short term plan is officially known as ―Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020‖.
It is a a ten-year framework for action by all countries to save biodiversity.
This short term plan provide a set of 20 ambitious yet achievable targets, collectively known as the Aichi
Aichi Targets= 20 targets, divided into 5 sections (A to E).
Strategic goal A
Address the causes of biodiversity loss
Make people aware about the values of biodiversity
Integrated biodiversity values in development + poverty reduction plan
Subsidies which are harmful to biodiversity= and eliminate them, phase them out or reform them
Sustainable production and consumption.
Strategic Goal B:
Reduce the direct pressure on biodiversity and promote sustainable use
Reduce the rate of natural habitat loss + forest loss by at least 50%
Agriculture, aquaculture and forestry in sustainable manner
Reduce pollution and excessive use of fertiliser
Prevent invasive alien species (non-native)
Minimise the choral reflow destruction, ocean acidification
Strategic Goal C
Safeguard ecosystems, species and genetic diversity
11. Conserve terrestrial and inland water, coastal – marine areas
12. Prevent extinction of threatened species
13. Maintain genetic diversity of agro-plants, domesticated animals and minimising genetic erosion
Strategic Goal D
Biodiversity benefits to all
14. Safeguard ecosystems for women, tribals, and poor.
15. Combat desertification and restore the degraded ecosystem
16. Operationalise the nagoya protocol on genetic resources, via national legislations
Strategic Goal E
Participatory planning, capacity building
National biodiversity strategy and action plans – update for participation
Integrate the knowledge of tribal communities
Scientific and technological knowledge sharing application
Financial resources mobilisation
During Nov 2013, Warsaw, Poland hosted:
19th Conference of the Parties (COP19) to the United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change (UNFCCC)
9th Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to Kyoto Protocol (CMP9)
Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDG)
Oil rich:Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Bolivia and Malaysia
Coal rich: China and India
Chillar party.:Cuba, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Thailand.
Ok, What does this gang want?
They want strict separation between ‗developed‘ and ‗developing‘ countries‘ responsibility in climate
@Developed countries: You were the first nations to industrialize. You‘re the one that cause this global
warming. So, you‘re obliged to cut emission. Our emissions are different from yours, for ours are produced
in the process of industrialization while you are already in the post-industrialization era. In short you‘re the
@Developing countries: we‘ve responsibility to combat climate change. but we want no legally binding
obligation to cut our emission. The developed nations (you) must not prescribe/preach us about climate
change. We‘ll set our commitment ‗voluntarily‘.
LMDG wants new climate change agreement to be on above theme.
Obviously developed (rich) countries are against this LMDG group. Rich nations argue “China and India
are growing so fast that by 2020 your LMDG gang’s greenhouse gas emission will be lot higher than us!
You can’t keep holding us responsible forever!”
Loss and damage
One of the contentious issues in the COP19/Warsaw talks.
Extreme events because of climate change= typhoons, floods, drought etc.
o Permanent. e.g. loss include loss of life, culture, livelihood, ecosystems, or territory.
o Can be economic or non-economic (e.g loss of entire culture/tribal religion in a low lying island)
o Repairable. e.g. deforestation and temperature rise.
In short- the Poor countries want ca$h from rich countries because rich countries caused climate change
and poor countries suffering extreme weather/disasters because of them.
Demand grew because thousands died in Philippines by Typhoon Haiyan just as the COP-19 started.
But Developed countries donot want to admit any legal liability – after all, China and India are also rich (GDP
wise), and emitting more greenhouse gas than many of the developed countries.
REDD+: Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation PLUS.
Under REDD+: ca$h comes from developed countries =>green climate fund=>developing
It is a result based understanding/framework. Meaning, Developing country will have to prove the ‗result‘
they have fought deforestation without harming local communities or biological diversity. Only then,
they‘ll get the ca$h.
REDD+ negotiations have been ongoing since 2005, finally @Warsaw talks 2013, the participating nations
agreed for REDD+ mechanism.
UK, Norway and USA have already allocated $US280 million to a World Bank-led fund operating REDD
REDD vs REDD+
UN‘s REDD PLUS following
Forest Carbon Partnership Facility: which is is a global partnership of governments,
businesses, civil society, and Indigenous Peoples.
World bank‘s Forest Investment Program (FIP)
Deforestation PLUS following
sustainable management of forests
Increasing forest carbon stocks
In all climate change talks- everything boils down to one thing: ca$H.
Earlier developed countries had promised to give $100 billion dollar fund for developing countries by the
end of 2020.
But developed countries did not elaborate how they‘ll come up with so much cash.
Poor countries wanted some cash in the meantime (2013-19): but this demand was rejected in Warsaw talk.
anyways, enough of the issues, let‘s check India‘s stand:
We want CBDR
As usual, India called for CBDR: Common but Differentiated Responsibility.
We accept that UNFCCC Convention and the Kyoto Protocol are also applicable to all.
but this Universality does not mean uniformity. We‘re against any legally binding commitments.
Developing countries should be provided the flexibility to choose their actions.
Rich nations should not to treat global warming issues with a business perspective of providing markets to
We‘re not irresponsible
India reiterated @Warsaw that we‘re not as irresponsible / evasive as rich nations portray us.
Consider some of the steps we‘ve taken to combat climate change:
We‘ve already made National Action Plan on Climate Change.
Under this NAPCC, we have launched eight missions in areas of energy efficiency,
solar energy, sustainable habitat, water, forestry, sustaining the Himalayan
ecosystem, agriculture and strategic knowledge for climate change.
Our states have also formed their plans and missions.
We have set a target of generating 20,000 MW of solar power by2020Already achieved about
1200 mw presently.
We have also introduced an innovative trading mechanism(Namely PAT – Perform,
Achieve and Trade)for energy efficiency.
(more given in one of my economic survey articles)
A National Clean energy Fund (NCEF)
ca$h comes from cess on coal of (Rs. 50 per tonne)
this ca$h is used for financing renewable energy and environment friendly projects.
We‘ve made ―voluntary‖ commitment that we‘ll reduce emissions intensity of our GDP by 20 to 25% by
2020 (compared with 2005 level.)
We have also committed that our per capita emissions will not exceed those of the developed countries in
We‘re large country with a very small carbon footprint. our per capita emission is only 1.7 tonnes per
annum, despite our heavy dependence oil import, we‘re committed to follow the path of sustainable
India‘s stand on Agriculture vs climate change
India is against any mitigation mechanism to reduce emission from agriculture.
for example, if UNFCC gangmember comes up with some idea that all nations should stop paying urea
subsidies or cheap electricity to their farmers or stop paying grants to slaughter houses etc=>
then India will oppose such ‗mitigation‘ mechanism for agriculture
Because Majority of Indian junta depends on agriculture- poverty, food security angles (and ofcourse vote
So, Instead of mitigation, India advocates ‗adaptation‘ mechanisms to reduce emission from agriculture e.g.
organic farming, watershed, sustainable development etc. but that too without any legally binding
commitments or targets.
Same stand by China and some African countries.
India‘s stand on Ca$h 4 climate change
India maintained that:
Simply creating the institutional arrangements like Green Climate Fund does not help because they don‘t
have much ca$h.
COP-19 conference needs to comeup with a clear roadmap on provision of finance for 2013-15, 2015-2017
and then up to 2020.
Public finance should be the primary source of fund for climate finance. (US wants majority of ca$h should
come from private companies, MNCs etc.)
India‘s stand on HFC
Montreal Protocol (1987)= to phase out ozone depleting substances – chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) ,
hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) etc.
They were used as refrigerants, aerosol propellants, solvents, AC in building and vehicles, and fire
everyone including India banned those ozone depleting substances.
but then refrigeration/AC industries shifted to using Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) because
o HFCs are cheap
o HFCs are technically not an ozone depleting substance. Hence not covered under Montreal
However they‘re still potent greenhouse gases, with a warming effect much higher than carbon dioxide.
wants HFC matter to be covered
under Montreal protocol
that way everyone, including
India-China will have to ban
wants HFC matter be kept under UNFCCC+Kyoto- then it‘ll
be mandatory only for the developed (rich) countries to phase
out HFC gases.
responsibility=>their local industry will be saved.
India reiterated this HFC stand during COP-19 Warsaw talks.
India‘s stand on Technology transfer
UNFCC wants developed countries to give (secret james bond) technology to developing countries – so
they can combat climate change. But America is now reluctant. Instead of giving technology- USA wants
to just promote investment in third world.
In that respect, Indian wanted that Green Climate fund (GCF) should give special funding to transfer IPR
protected technology from rich to developing countries.
Because without ca$h and technology transfer, developing countries cannot carry out Nationally
Appropriate Mitigation Actions NAMAs.
India‘s stand on Misc. issues
we support the demand of poor countries for ―Loss and damage‖
We‘re dismayed to see some rich countries (Japan, Canada and Australia) have rolled back from their
earlier commitments about reducing Greenhouse gas emission.
List not exhaustive
In December 2015, we‘ll hold a summit in Paris to outline what to do after 2020 (i.e.
when Kyoto mechanism expires)
but before this Paris summit,
all countries must announce their plans before end of 1 st quarter of 2015
about how they‘ll curb greenhouse gas (GHG) emission beyond 2020
such national plans will be called ―intended nationally determined contributions‖.
(Observe it doesn‘t contain the word ―commitment‖- because India-China opposed that
agreement called the ―Warsaw international mechanism for loss and damage (IMLD)‖.
As per this agreement, disaster victims in developing country will receive aid from the
developed countries. BUT it will not be linked with any liability /commitment.
will also provide expertise and aid, to help developing nations cope with extreme events
related to climate change.
2016: we‘ll review the exact form of this mechanism.
Merely urged developed nations to set ―increasing levels‖ of aid to poor countries. but didn‘t set
any targets for 2013-19.
@countries that donot have legally binding emission targets.we‘ll encourage them to use carbon
credits under CLEAN DEVELOPMENT MECHANISM (CDM)In 2014, we‘ll hold a special
technical meeting to iron out the details.
adopted REDD+ to combat deforestation.
Limitations/Criticism of Warsaw Talks/COP-19
They contemplated over the post-2020 scenario but did not outline any near term actions (2013-19) to
combat climate change.
No mechanism on how $100 billion will come in 2020
No special funding to poor countries for 2013-19 period.
It‘s all a useless exercise as long as the world‘s prominent emitters India and China receive special
treatment. Both act as a ‗firewall‘ between rich and poor countries, refuse any legally binding
More than 800 NGOs staged a walkout from the Warsaw talks because developed countries are making no
firm commitments to combat climate change, and the corporate interests/lobbying are taking over the
Japan‘s ―Gaddari‖ to UNFCC:
o Earlier Japan had promised we‘ll cut our emission by 25% (from 1990 levels)
o But during this summit, Japan announced, ―not possible!, we‘ll infact increase our emission by
~3% compared to 1990 level‖
o Similarly, Canada and Australia also scaled down their targets.
S.Africa‘s ―Gaddari‖ to BRIC:
S.Africa is part of BRIC. And BRIC‘s stand is: We don‘t want legally binding commitments to
reduce Greenhouse gas emission
o But recently S.Africa wrote an official letter to UNFCC seeking legally binding commitment.
8. Russia‘s ―anger‖
o that UNFCC‘s conferences are failing to be impartial- Not taking decisions based on consensus.
o Instead a few vocal members tend to overshadow the proceedings.
9. India‘s ―dissatisfaction‖ that
o Rich nations are treating global warming issues with a ―business perspective of providing markets
to domestic companies‖.
o How rich nations — including Japan, Canada and Australia — to scale down ambition and
lowering of targets of emissions.
o How Green Climate fund is useless without any coffers.
10. Mere Lip service to issues related to black carbon, agricultural methane, energy efficient buildingsequipment etc.