What to expect from India in Paris Climate Talks

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The climate talks in Paris are happening on the outset of the recent terror attacks in the city and the global leaders’ presence in this meet is expected to showcase unity against the acts of terror as US President Barack Obama vowed.

Even though terror could overshadow the talks, the main focus would be on climate as it is supposed to be. The climate change has become a huge issue or it can be said that the world leaders are late in reacting to it.

The Paris meet is an important point in this area as in the past various countries have been at loggerheads on this issue. While the leaders of many countries like Canada have expected to resolve it and bring everyone on the same page, disagreement is expected.

India has been the toughest to get onboard. Canadian PM Justin Trudeau expected that India could be convinced to have a set target of greenhouse gas emissions.

There have been a lot of criticism of India’s stand on this issue on the world stage and within the country itself but it is important to know the reasons behind this stand.

Here are four reasons behind India’s firm stand on climate change :

(1) India believes that developed countries have exploited the resources to the hilt, emitting a large amount of carbon and greenhouse gases. Now is India’s turn to be developed and it wants the same opportunity as the other countries had.

(2) The renewable sources of energy are too expensive for a country like India with the degree of poverty and population the country has.

(3) India believes that figures do not tell the correct story. Canadian PM said that India was important for the cause as it was fourth largest emitter but according to figures of World Resources Institute, on average a Canadian emits greenhouse gases 12 times more than an Indian. India has a large population, which obviously mean that sum total will also be large.

(4) India needs resources to provide for basic life utilities. India has 300 million people who have no electricity at all. Either the developed country should take an initiative and provide help to India, a real help not just pretentious help to overcome this.

Other than these reasons there is another reason which India does not say openly but a lot of people in India believe that. It is that if India has poverty, lack of resources or any problems and if developed countries are developed, it is because of colonization.

There is a feeling in every colonial country that imperial countries are obliged to give at least something back in proportion to what all they took.

200 years of imperial rule left India broken and divided. It has been hardly seven decades and India is expected to recover, which is little far-fetched thought.

Yes, India needs to be worried about the climate and should try to do everything possible in their power to protect it but it is wrong of developed nations to make India look like an ‘ignorant careless nation’.

When everyone is selfish, why have double standards for India?

In all the developed countries, almost all the citizens own a car while in India hardly one-fourth of the population owns a car. It proves two points, one, the emission of greenhouse gases per person is less in India. It has a large population which makes the total much higher. Two, what is wrong if India has a desire to have the same life standards for its people as a developed nation?

Many countries have this perception that India protests for the sake of protest and by portraying themselves as a victim, India is losing the bigger picture.

It cannot be forgotten that the worst effects of climate change are on the country like India which is agriculture dependent nation and any impact on climate directly affects the agriculture and its cycle.

Modi has left for Paris and it will be interesting to see if there is any change in India’s stand. While, it is not a justification to India’s stand, but it reminds that there are reasons  behind this stand and these reasons can’t be ignored.

  • Sanchit Sharma

    The onus should be on the countries that are the biggest contributors to carbon emissions and the developed nations to helps others and share technology for cleaner environment. Climate change should not be used as an excuse to hinder the growth of developing nations. Setting up similar targets and norms for every nation when not all nations similar capabilities(developing nations) is IDIOTIC. Developed nations need to do more rather than push developing nations to pay for their mistakes. Differentiating between developed and developing nations, their capabilities and planning accordingly is what should be done rather than 1 shoe that fits all.

    Also bashing and portraying of any nation as ‘obstacles’ for putting forward it’s genuine needs and constraints is typical of the U.S. and the western media.

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  • Sanchit Sharma

    The onus should be on the countries that are the biggest contributors to carbon emissions and the developed nations to helps others and share technology for cleaner environment. Climate change should not be used as an excuse to hinder the growth of developing nations. Setting up similar targets and norms for every nation when not all nations similar capabilities(developing nations) is IDIOTIC. Developed nations need to do more rather than push developing nations to pay for their mistakes. Differentiating between developed and developing nations, their capabilities and planning accordingly is what should be done rather than 1 shoe that fits all.

    Also bashing and portraying of any nation as ‘obstacles’ for putting forward it’s genuine needs and constraints is typical of the U.S. and the western media.