Down to earth | Centre for Science and Environment

Down to earth


Work plan under Durban Platform may prove contentious

By: Indrajit Bose
Date: Nov 28, 2012

Developing countries say the work plan can progress only if outstanding issues are resolved first

Talks are now in full swing at the climate meet at Doha in Qatar. The negotiations, which are happening under three different tracks—ad hoc working groups on Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP), Long-Term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) and Durban Platform—have all been launched. And the differences between the negotiating countries, or Parties as they are called in the climate circuit, are out in the open in all the three tracks.

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Doha debates Kyoto Protocol

By: Indrajit Bose
Date: Nov 27, 2012

No market benefits for developed countries that are not part of Kyoto Protocol, developing countries demand

Two issues dominated negotiations under the Kyoto Protocol track or ad hoc working group on Kyoto Protocol  (AWG-KP) on the second day of CoP 18 meeting in Doha, Qatar. One, on the second commitment period of Kyoto Protocol (KP 2), and two, the ambition levels with respect to emissions reduction targets of developed countries.

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US says it will not extend commitment on climate mitigation efforts

By: Arnab Pratim Dutta
Date: Nov 26, 2012

Ambitions on reducing carbon emissions levels missing at CoP 18, say developing countries

The swords and daggers are still not out. Going by previous experience of climate change conferences, the big fights are generally kept for the last week of the conference, ceremoniously also known as the high level segment. However, on the opening day of the 18th Conference of Parties (CoP18) in Doha, Qatar, parties reaffirmed their positions, on which each will try to consolidate its position over the next two weeks. Although Doha seems to be just another milestone in the setting-up process of a new treaty in 2015, based on the Durban Platform to be implemented from 2020, the coming two weeks will see confrontations, if not fisticuffs on numerous contentious issues that need to be settled before 2013. And in one of the several press conferences held on the first day, the United States, a party that has always shied away from taking on carbon emissions reduction, made this clear.

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 Ambitions on reducing carbon emissions levels missing at CoP 18, say developing countries

Smog has to be cleared

Losing after winning is the worst feeling possible. This is how I feel looking out of my window at a thick pall of black smog engulfing my city. It was this time of the year, exactly 15 years ago, when Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) began its right-to-clean-air campaign. The air in Delhi was so foul one could hardly breathe. That was a time when air pollution was an unknown curse. Not much was known about its nature and the toxicity of the air contaminants.

A tale of two cities

I travelled to two different cities in two different states last week—Indore and Guwahati. I came back with images identified by common distinctions: piles of garbage and glitzy new shopping malls. Is this our vision of urban development? There is no question that cities are imploding; growth is happening faster than we ever imagined. Construction is booming and expansion is gobbling agricultural land.

Public private prank

Growth is back on the agenda, says the government. It is hoping that with pushy announcements foreign and Indian investment will miraculously start pouring in and infrastructure will be the name of the game once again. But this assumption ignores one crucial detail: currently, public-private partnerships (PPPs) in infrastructure are on the cusp of disaster. The country needs a different strategy to build public services infrastructure.

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