Guest essay by Eric Worrall
India has presented a simple yet devestating demand at COP21: If we want India to cut CO2 emissions, we not only have to pay for their renewables, we have to help them get rich, by gifting them our technological advantages. India estimates the cost of the assistance they request to be $2.5 trillion.
According to the Telegraph;
… Yet we cannot commit, as some want, to a common global objective of restricting carbon and greenhouse gas emissions without an affordable means of doing so. There is still a huge cost involved in switching to new processes and greener technologies and we simply cannot afford to do it alone.
India is a developing nation, and we must first acknowledge her needs; the eradication of poverty must remain our priority. This is why India’s climate change commitments have been designed to address environmental concerns while also enabling us to meet the growth aspirations of our citizens and our overall development ambitions.
All these [Indian] efforts stand to make a huge impact but we do require international support to prioritise and accelerate our initiatives in accordance with the principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibility (CBDR). If we are to replace coal, we need access to cleaner energy sources and technology at a viable cost. Even with the huge strides we are making in the direction of renewables, to do more, at a faster pace, we need help from developed nations. That’s why international contributions towards the development and generation of greener technologies should be increased at the earliest possible opportunity through global carbon pricing, and by incentivising companies in the developed world to invest and share their research and development in this area. Our preliminary assessment indicates that the implementation of our climate change pledges (the INDCs) up to 2030 would cost approximately $2.5 trillion. India stands ready to meet this commitment, but if we are to accelerate our efforts, then further financial support should be extended to poorer countries via the Green Climate Fund.
Read more: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/paris-climate-change-conference/12042237/Indias-priority-is-poverty-not-climate-change.html
You know what? The Indian demand for help is actually completely reasonable. India have been asked to do something very difficult, so they’ve dutifully calculated how this could be accomplished, without derailing their ongoing and successful efforts to lift vast numbers of their people out of poverty.
The fact that the price tag for the required help is politically impossible for the West to meet, is not India’s problem. India gave Prime Minister Modi an overwhelming mandate at the ballot box, in the hope he can bring the economic transformation he achieved in Gujarat to the entire country. Nothing is going to stand in the path of Modi’s plans for economic transformation.
Naturally the green response to Modi’s uncompromising demand for continued economic improvement has been extremely negative, and in my opinion racist – they seem to want to try to bully India into accepting continued poverty, rather than working with India to see what can be achieved within the framework of their demands.
The Indian press has noticed this negative rhetoric and mockery, and is not happy about it.
NYT affronts India again, this time with a cartoon on climate change
The New York Times seems set for another controversy over its portrayal of India. It has now published a cartoon mocking the stand India has taken at the ongoing climate talks in Paris – making developed countries with higher per capita emissions effect deeper emission cuts than developing nations that typically have significantly lower emissions.
The cartoon that NYT, titled ‘India at the Paris Climate Conference’, shows a giant elephant labelled ‘India’ blocking a coal-chugging steam engine labelled ‘Paris Climate Summit’. NYT has also carried an article saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi could make or break the legacy that US President Barack Obama is attempting to build for himself over climate change towards the end of the final term of his presidency.
This is not the first time the New York Times has mocked India. In October last year, after India had become the first country to taste success in its very first mission to Mars, NYT had published a cartoon that showed a rustic man in a turban, labelled ‘India’, knocking on the door to a room labelled ‘Elite Space Club’. The man had a cow in tow.
Read more: http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/everything-social/nyt-affronts-india-again-this-time-with-a-cartoon-on-climate-change/
I suspect when the COP21 shambles falls apart, assuming the failure is admitted, India will be painted as the villain. But in my view India is making the right choice – they want, they demand, a better future for their children, no matter what.
India has big ambitions, which they are well on the way to meeting. Many of those Indian expats you meet in your workplace are paying very little tax, thanks to generously interpreted export incentives promoted by the Indian government, incentives which provide easily accessible tax loopholes for offshore Indian workers. They are learning first world skills, and accumulating vast pools of personal wealth – wealth which will in the near future fund a wave of economic development and entrepreneurship, the like of which the world has never seen.