Monday, December 14, 2009

Climate Meet Despite Differences

There can be hope of achieving concrete result from the summit on climate change under way at Copenhagen only when the entire world shows unity to deal with this challenge. In this matter, India and China have recently made voluntary announcements of reduction in carbon emission.

Emitting Less Carbon
The two countries have also entered into a mutual agreement in October to adopt renewable energy, forest management, and technology emitting less carbon.This agreement has a special significance with regard to avoiding the binding conditions being imposed by developed countries. They could convince developed countries for big cuts in carbon emission through this as well as demand low-carbon technique and necessary funds for themselves.
Despite this agreement, India and China have not been able to show the same kind of unity at the Copenhagen summit. In this summit, both countries have so far tried to make a deal in accordance with their respective circumstances and needs.

Binding Kyoto Protocol
For example, India is in favor of binding provisions like Kyoto protocol for rich countries, while China is demanding them to cut carbon emission by 40 percent until 2020 with 1990 as the basis. There is no doubt that from the use of energy to carbon emission both countries are on entirely different levels. At present, China is the most polluting country of the world, while India is in the fifth place.
Another difference between them is that most of China's trade depends on the manufacturing sector and its emission could increase in the coming days. Even now, China needs to increase its energy consumption by 50-percent to increase production. In contrast, India is more dependent on the service sector than manufacturing for economic development. In this sector, the consumption of energy does not rise as rapidly as in the manufacturing sector.
In the past quarter century, India's per capita energy consumption has increased by 70 percent, while in China this figure is 136 percent. In contrast, the work of building power plants and roads is almost complete in China, while the process is still on in India. This means that India's carbon emission in these sectors is sure to rise.

Demand for Regional Unity
Despite all these differences, both countries would have to bear in mind that they are the fastest growing economies of the world, and they would need each other on several fronts in the future. In Copenhagen, they must take full advantage of the opportunity of coming closer to each other. This is not the demand for regional unity alone. Securing mutual interests, they could hasten the efforts to bring down the earth's rising temperature.

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