Saturday, August 29, 2009

China and India agree on a common platform on climate change

Mr Jairam Ramesh, the Indian environment minister was in China last week for the first ever ministerial level talk on climate change. The Chinese side was led by Mr Xie Zhen Hua, vice chairman of China’s National Development Reforms Commission. The two sides explored common grounds as part of their preparation for the upcoming UNFCCC meeting in Copenhagen in December 2009. Here are the key points from the discussions.
  • The Indian minister confirmed that there is "total convergence" in the negotiating positions of the two countries. The two countries have agreed to coordinate their views on climate change before major international meeting.
  • Both countries are committed to the idea of "common but differentiated responsibilities" of developed and developing countries.
  • Neither side will agree to legally binding emission norms.
  • Both want to negotiate for higher levels financial assistance and technology transfer in return for promises to do their best to tackle climate change.
  • Both sides agreed to oppose trade barriers linked to climate change issues being prosed by developed countries.
  • The two delegations agreed to undertake jointly mitigation activities to reduce carbon emission.
Here are two of the many newspaper reports on this issue, here and here.

Meanwhile, the US has responded to the discussions between China and India on climate change.
Noting that India and China need to be part of the solution on climate change, the United States has said that it would like the two Asian giants to make significant investment in the success of a summit on climate change to be held in Copenhagen in December.

"What we want to see from India and China is a significant investment in the Copenhagen process," the Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, P J Crowley, told reporters yesterday at the daily State Department press briefing.

"They have to be part of the solution if we are going to make progress in dealing with greenhouse gases," Crowley said. He was responding to a question based on an interview given by the Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh to an Indian newspaper in which he said that India and China have agreed to work together on the issue of climate change to withstand the pressure from the west.

Reported in Business Standard, "India and China to be part of the solutions on climate change: US"

Need to improve on this climate change road map

If China and India work together, along with some other countries at the UNFCCC, they will pose formidable challenge to those who want these countries to take immediate action on account of climate change. But there are three areas of serious concerns about these key negotiating strategies being adopted by the Asian neighbours.
  1. They would have done well to note that the understanding of the science of climate is limited, and there are substantive flaws in the theories underlying predictions of global warming.
  2. While they have consistently refused to accept emission norms, they seem to have not equally strongly emphasized the role of economic development and competitive economic environment in stimulating greater energy efficiency.
  3. This may have led to commitment on mitigation, but not so much on adaptation. Although adaptation is likely to have a more immediate beneficial impact on the people, reducing their present vulnerabilities to vagaries of nature.

1 comment:

  1. Great blog, Barun, Congrats. About climate alarmism, I am wondering if there are some known Indian and Chinese climate scientists, preferably solar physicists, who can explain to the Environment Ministry and the public of both countries, that the current global cooling and deep solar minimum is a prelude to a Dalton Minimum type of 2 or more decades of severe cooling. CO2 has very little or nothing to do with global climate.

    India and China should grow fast because there are hundreds of millions of people that need to get out of poverty. Cheap, stable energy supply is one key for both countries to grow fast. The UN FCCC bureaucrats and those from rich countries do not want China, India and many other big developing countries to develop at par with the current rich countries because of their warped and twisted definition of social development.