TWN Info Service
on Climate Change (Oct09/04)
find below an opinion piece by Mr. Chandrashekhar Dasgupta that was
published in The Telegraph (
The link to the article is:
There is a real fear that the
outline of the basic features of the FCCC and its Kyoto Protocol will
help explain the issues at stake in
The convention and the protocol do not require developing countries to implement mitigation actions involving incremental costs, unless these costs are fully covered by developed countries. The convention states specifically that the “extent to which developing country Parties will implement their commitments under the Convention will depend on the effective implementation by developed country Parties of their commitments under the Convention related to financial resources and transfer of technology”.
short, the convention and the protocol reflect recognition of the fact
that developing countries are victims of climate change, a phenomenon
induced primarily by the industrialized countries. Indeed, the world
would not be confronted with a climate-change problem if all countries
had the same per capita emissions as
The developed countries are now pressing aggressively to replace the Kyoto Protocol with a new climate-change agreement which would enable them to transfer a large share of their responsibilities and obligations to developing countries. They are insisting that developing countries, with the exception of the Least Developed Countries, should also take on legally binding mitigation commitments and meet the costs of implementing these measures. Poorer countries may receive some “assistance”, depending on an assessment of their “needs”, but this would not in any case cover the full incremental costs. Moreover, developing countries would also be required to contribute financial resources for “assisting” other developing countries. In short, they would have to shoulder a considerable share of the obligations assigned to the developed countries under the existing agreements. The objective is not only to scrap the Kyoto Protocol but also to severely maim the FCCC and the principles upon which it is based. Ignoring questions of equity, the industrialized countries are simply shrugging off their historical responsibility for causing climate change.
A particularly objectionable feature of these proposals is the demand that developing countries should submit projected long-term emission trajectories up to 2050, so as to ensure adequacy of the total global effort. The fact that this is coupled with a rejection of the concept of equal per capita emission entitlements for all countries makes this a truly sinister demand. Developed countries are seeking to impose an agreement that would allow them to maintain per capita emissions that are several times higher than those of developing countries. Since carbon emissions result mainly from the use of coal, oil and natural gas to generate energy, this means that developing countries would have to surrender their right to access these energy sources on an equal per capita basis. Developing countries would be subject to unequal emission constraints in pursuing their energy options.
FCCC permits developing countries to pursue the overriding priorities
of economic and social development and poverty eradication, simultaneously
with climate-change mitigation, since the incremental costs have to
be met by the industrialized countries. The proposals now being pressed
by the industrialized countries would require developing countries themselves
to bear the incremental costs of mitigation actions, either in full
or, at least, in substantial measure. By requiring developing countries
to divert scarce resources from their national priorities, the proposed
new protocol would slow down the development of the so-called “emerging
economies” such as
the next six weeks before
The author is a retired ambassador.