As US out of climate pact, India must play a bigger role: Jairam Ramesh

India needs to be pragmatic and recognise that the area of climate change opens up opportunities for strategic relations

geetanjali

Geetanjali Minhas | July 11, 2017 | Mumbai


#Kyoto protocol   #India   #Jairam Ramesh   #Donald Trump   #US   #Paris climate pact   #ozone depletion   #Himalayan glaciers  
GN Photo
GN Photo

 The vacuum created by US president Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement is a golden opportunity for India to stand up and demonstrate its leadership on climate change, said former union environment and forests minister Jairam Ramesh.

“At a time when the world is drying for leadership through action, India faces a huge challenge. No country in the world has the vulnerability to climate change like we have. We must negotiate from a position of strength and strategic reassurance,” said Ramesh while speaking  on 'Paris Climate Change Pact: After Trump pull-out, who will save the world' at the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) in Mumbai.
 
Ramesh said that that in 2000, then US president George Bush had said that since India and China were not part of the Kyoto Protocol, then why should the US be. Seventeen years later president Trump has only repeated the same. With the US pulling out of G20 climate agreement, it was a major setback to an agreement that was negotiated in good faith, took many years and was signed by 193 countries.
 
“It will actually take four years for the US to pull out of it. Mercifully all other countries have clearly and categoricallysaid that Paris agreement is irreversible and countries will stick to agreements they have made.  This is a major step forward,” he said.
 
The former minister said that Paris climate agreement was a modest step forward and a bottoms up agreement. The global goal was for having an agreement that would moderate the increasing temperature in the critical century to no more than 2 degree Celsius. 
 
“For too long in India, our approach to climate change has been predicated in two mantras - that we could not contribute to global warming and second our emissions may be large but our per capita income is very low. This mind set has guided India’s approach to climate change for years.
 
“60% of our agriculture is rain fed. We have now evidence to show that 10,000 Himalayan glaciers are decreasing, having great implication of water flow in north Indian rivers. The mean sea levels have increased. Our natural resources required for economic interaction like coal, iron ore, bauxite lie in rich forests .The more forest areas we destroy, the more it leads to global warming. No other country has these vulnerabilities of monsoon, mean sea level, melting of glaciers and deforestation.” 
 
Ramesh said that hydel power gives 17% of our electricity, nuclear power gives about 3.5% electricity and another 6.5% supply from solar. “Revenue wise this is significant. The only success we have had in the last two decades is in dealing with the problem of ozone depletion which 12 years ago was  a huge issue.
 
He said that China accounts for 29% of the worlds greenhouse gases, US 16%, EU is about 11% and India and Russia about 5%. At this rate by 2030, India will account for almost 15% of world’s greenhouse gases. Right now our forests accounts for about 6% of absorption of greenhouse gases when forests are actually being destroyed and cut. Now they will actually expand in India and their quality will improve in next 15 years and the absorption capability will go up to 30%.
 
“The expectation is that in 2018 there will be another round of discussions where countries will agree how these commitments are going to be important.”
 
Cautioning that environmental and ecological damage is wreaking havoc in large parts of country and we should make environmentalism an issue of livelihood and not lifestyle issues, Ramesh said that in the name of ease of doing business, regulatory boards are driving out environmental concerns. this should not happen as we need to protect the environment. 
 
“Climate change affects India the most and it is India’s political interest not to adopt a moralistic position. We need to be pragmatic and recognise that this area opens up opportunities for strategic relations,” said Ramesh.
 

Comments

 

Other News

Omicron on relentless run: India records 2.68 lakh cases

India is once again caught in a spike of Covid-19 cases, with the highly transmittable omicron driving numbers. The total cases in the country continued to increase on Saturday, recording 2.68 lakh cases in 24 hours. India`s active caseload currently stands at 14,17,820 or 3.85%, while the r

Bill Gates, charity and the dilemma of already successful people

Mantra and the meaning of Success By Rajesh Talwar Bridging Borders, 288 pages Rajesh Talwar, who works as Deputy Legal Adviser to the United Nations Mission in Afghanistan, has written 31 books, and on January 15 he is releasing one more. ‘

An inquisitive reader’s guide to Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Puranas

Essence of the Fifth Veda By Gaurang Damani Divine Destination, 234 pages, Rs 350 ‘Veda’ literally means ‘knowledge’.

Humility: Going beyond binaries to deliver justice to tribals

Being Adivasi: Existence, Entitlements, Exclusion [Part of ‘Rethinking India’ series] Edited by Abhay Flavian Xaxa and G.N. Devy Penguin, xxvi+182 pages, Rs 699 ‘Being Adivasi: Existence, Entitlements, Exclusion’ (Penguin India), edited by

Maharashtra to provide Rs 468Cr for WCD schemes from DPDC

The Maharashtra government has approved provision of 3% funds under the District Annual Plan for empowerment of women and children in every district through the Department of Women and Child Development, women and child development minister Yashomati Thakur said. “As a result of this d

16,420 new Covid cases in Mumbai

Mumbai has reported 16,420 new Covid -19 cases, adding nearly 5,000 cases in a day. Out of the total cases reported, 13,793 (84%) are asymptomatic. There were seven deaths, all reported to have comorbidities. As many as 916 patients were hospitalized out of which 98 patients were put on oxyg

Visionary Talk: Farmer`s Agitation, Rakesh Tikait with Kailashnath Adhikari


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter