Developing countries were exempt from the obligations. During the 1990-2012 Kyoto Protocol period, developed countries reduced their emissions by 16 per cent or 32 GtCO2e.
The twist in the tale, Dhara told IndiaSpend, is that emission reduction is fictitious. First, the emissions are accounted for in the country that produces goods and services. Over the past two decades, the developed countries countries have turned into net importers of goods and services from the developing countries, particularly India and China.
For one, developed countries emitted around 65 per cent of historic emissions, cumulative emissions since 1750, and their historic emissions, per person, is 1,200 tonne, 40 times more than every Indian, according to Dhara.
Even if you give the entire carbon space to third world countries, they are not going achieve living standards of the developed world, Dhara said.
“If they decline to play ball with developed countries at COP 21 regarding their own emission cuts, they will be toast to the effects of climate change as they’re economically and geographically the most vulnerable,” he said.
“If they play ball with developed countries and accept emission cuts, their own development, as is popularly understood and touted, will suffer, and inequality and disparity between developed and developing countries will increase. Whichever way you slice this, you’re in a deep ditch.”
I don't have the exact details so I would like to see some calculations which claims that even if you give the entire carbon space to the developing countries they are not going to achieve the living standards of the developed world.
I believe we do have technology in place to reduce the emission so the cumulative historic emission per person in the developed countries need not be the criteria. If properly managed with existing technologies it could be lot lesser. However, it all depends on the government's will.
If the choice is between development and avoiding the effects of climate change, I would prefer development at the expense of avoiding environmental catastrophe.
I would think continuing to be a poor country is a bigger catastrophe than anything else. Also, when there is no intent to harm but the harm is a side effect of our dream for a better life for every human being it shouldn't be criminalized.
Therefore, I would think the idea of reducing the carbon footprint by controlling human beings is flawed. Research and money should be spent on reducing the carbon footprint from the environment. If it fails, bad luck.
It looks like austerity measures whether during economic turmoil or in climate change strangle only the poor who make the least contribution to both in general. More over, when it comes to environment, the measures appear to be a permanent austerity.
If the situation is a permanent austerity what are the options for the poor?
- Remain poor
What if there is no climate austerity measures in place and technology fails to find a solution to reduce the carbon footprint?
- Remain poor and lose 10 years of life
- Have a hope of prosperity and lose 10 years of life
- Some prosperity and lose 10 years of life
I would think second scenario is far better.
As the author points out, when we don't have an alternative developmental idea without considering climate change as a variable, why should we even remotely consider we can do better by adding one more constraint? The concern for climate change shouldn't turn into rich man's fad.