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Rajesh Gajra
India | Businessworld
hi souparno,
hope all is well.

just wanted to quickly share a viewpoint with you and also CSE. i have been reading the newsletters and DTE coverage of climate change convention going on at some place somewhere.

CSE, i think, is being over-shrill in attacking the developed countries for asking the developing countries to commit to carbon emission reductions. just because someone else has committed a crime in the past that does not mean someone else now gets the freedom to commit a crime. india & china should, in my view, commit to reductions not because developed countries want it but because mother earth wants it.

it is also a myth to a large extent the argument that india and china cant develop if they have to cut down to emissions. as we have seen the developed countries models that kind of 'development' is of no use if it hurts the Earth's sensitive ecosystems and atmospheric conditions for the worse for mankind. why should then we obsessed with the idea of being allowed to have that same 'development' model by and large. green technology argument is also not very valid because beyond a minor extent green technologies are useless. what, in my view, is required is not supply side management but demand side moderation. anyway, in india & china, the majority of people were not getting the claimed benefits of so-called 'development'.

can you please forward the above to your colleagues, including sunita, who are covering the climate change issues, or alternative give me their email ids and i will email them.

rajesh gajra

K. Madhava Sarma,
I am not in Poznan. Your paper is generally OK. but I do not agree with your statement "It must not spend time now finding ways to differentiate between countries of the South—the advanced, the not so advanced and the least advanced etc". While I agree that too fine distinctions are not needed, surely Singapore, South Korea, Saudi Arabia should not draw funds meant for real developing countries. The mistake was to treat G77 as developing countries. In Montreal Protocol the same mistake was done but there was also a provision that those whose annual per-capita consumption of ozone depleting subatances is more than 0.3 kg are not eligible for funds or grace period. Some similar criteria will be useful for climate change. Those less than world average of per capita GHG emisions and others? There can be negotiations on this.The Kyoto Proto col has done a great mistake in not doing this. High time every one is reasonable. We must remember the Kyoto will suceed only if everyone is in. Sooner the better. There are no penalties (as there in MP, through trade controls) if any country keeps out.

Jagdish Kishwan
India | jkishwan@nic.in
Most of the points which have been raised are very relevant. In fact India was the first country to introduce the concept of "compensated conservation" seeking incentives for forest carbon stocks being maintained and enhanced as a result of conservation policies of the country. Needless to say, credit for conservation largely goes to the local grassroots level JFM committees that are engaged in protection of the local forests. India is one country which is keen to see that REDD is understood and used as a holistic comprehensive concept that encompasses all actions being taken in different countries aiming at reduction of emissions in forestry sector. These actions would include reduced deforestation, conservation, sustainable management of forest and increase in forest cover. As regards financial compensation, the local communities will certainly get it in accordance with their contribution. There is no denying this fact. This is very clear at the national as well as international level.I would request you to go through Indian submissions and presentations made in different UNFCCC forums on the subject (also available on the UNFCCC website). Regards.

Nadine Planzer
Holland | nadine.planzer@gmail.com
Please see my comments in bold to some of your statements. Thanks for the article!

"Will the rich world, responsible for the stock of emissions already in the common atmosphere, find the resources to pay the victims of its economic excesses?"
I think we should stop pointing fingers and just use renewable energy as Much as possible. I dont think developed countries will just 'pay' the Developing countries. Anyways china has enough money themselves (the most Foreign reserves) that they should allocate fairly to their people. It’s Not the developed worlds responsibility.

"Will the same world find the resources to pay for the much-needed transition to low-carbon economies?"
Yes, i think there should be much more tech. Transfer. I think the problem Is that we can’t agree on which technology to transfer for a particular purpose. Also, patents and propriatery rights restrict this transfer, Which is a huge problem for progress.

"We know today that international negotiations on climate change, to put it politely, stink."
Yes, i agree!! It's a lot of high level talk and no practical solutions

"It is for this reason that the world must accept the concept of equal per capita emission entitlements so that the rich reduce and the poor do not go beyond their climate quota."
Yes i think this is true but the level needs to remain pretty low and as such the mindset of both the rich and the middle class in both the developed world and the developing world needs to change drastically. We should aim for conservation and efficieny and we should use our precious resources sparingly. We shouldn't have a mindset to consume and to consume. We should live simpler.

"It must force these countries to take hard and binding interim targets for emission reduction."
Yes, i completely agree.

"Accepting a long-term target (2050) based on a shifting baseline year, is a self-goal that the world cannot afford."
Yes, i completely agree.

"that the rich must reduce so that the poor can grow."
I think the poor should be able to grow but in a sustainable way and not just grow for the sake of growing. Histrotic cultural ways that represent simplicity and frugality are deteriorating fast. I mean why should an american family own two cars and on that note why should a chinese family own two cars? It’s just not necessary! I think we are in the wrong mind set where we think every poor family should have an Americam life style in order to be happy. I am Canadian and i don't want that. I don't want to live in excess and those values to live in excess and to want more should stop and by giving developing countries the right to grow exponentially without consequence will not help the fight against the depletion of our natural resources. We should learn something from the developing world that less can be better and happiness can still be found (like in Thailand some people don’t have that much but they are happy). Also it has been proven that as income rises in the developed world from a low level to about 30,000 Euro per year happiness increases but when your salary increases above that level then your happiness levels off or decreases. So, economic growth is every countries right but their leaders should grow to a rate where it’s sustainable and the wealth should be fairly distributed (like in china there is an enormous gap between rich and poor.)

"These actions must be paid, not through a convoluted, cheap and corrupt mechanism like CDM, but through a rights-based mechanism."
Ok ,ok! We've heard it all. The system is not perfect but it's a start and I am personally developing renewable energy projects in china that might of not happened with CDM revenues or might of happened but perhaps much later. Who knows! All I know is that I am encouraging through my job as a project manager under the scope of CDM renewable energy and energy effiecieny projects in china -where it is needed! They are cleaning cdm up and I wouldn't call it cheap and corrupt, just poorly implemented and organized. At least cdm has mobilized the international community, the political arena, the corporate sector, the non-profit sector and the individual to something to reduce emissions even if the intentions are different and not always holistic.

"We either set up a global trading system based on equal per capita entitlements. Or agree on a carbon tax (one which hurts) on the developed world, so that the fund can pay for national actions to mitigate emissions including avoiding emissions from deforestation."
I mean implement a carbon tax which will be put into a fund and then used to tranfer technology to the developing world is also not very realistic. Who will administer this fund? How can the individual tax payer feel assured that her/his money is really doing what is supposed to? You think cdm is corrupt? How about all the other funds and charity programs over the years that haven't accoplmished much. Like the UN oil-for-food programme. Just a note, the world cannot agree on major reduction targets so what makes you think that we can devise a global trading system based on equal per capita entitlement? CDM and the EU ets is as close as we have come to a global trading system of carbon credits and look at all the problems it has. By the way cdm includes methodologies on reforestation and afforestation. Let’s hope it can make a small difference.

India | mpsinghifs89@hotmail.com
Mitigation mechanism ad Carbon tradable through CDM is good to
happen till date. But it should be rather simlified for wider participation. and this to happen right choice of experts are needed. We need to learn from A Brief History of Time wherein Stephen Hawking takes us through the evolution of modern thinking on cosmology. Please donot complicate the methodology just because experts have little exposure to the realities.

Melanie Miller
Belgium | melanie.miller@touchdownconsulting.com
You articles make interesting points. However, you frequently state or assume that economic growth requires increased greehouse gas (GHG) emissions. This can be a false assumption. Experience in 10 countries (e.g. Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Czech Republic) show that GHG emissions can be decoupled from economic growth. Since the early 1990s the per capita income in 10 countries increased by more than 70% while related GHG emissions increased little or in some cases decreased. People who are at COP-14 in Poznan now can see graphs showing this data in an EU poster in the corridor outside the EU Pavilion (its on the right-hand side as you walk towards the Pavilion).

Anurag Bhardwaj
India | anu_savus@
What the figures clearly point out is that the Kyoto Protocol has so far not been able to make any dent on the emission reduction scenario.The huge negative growth in EITs is also more due to economic factors and less due to reasons associated with climate change mitigation process.I think the time has now come to introduce penal provisions for non-compliance of emission reduction targets. In view of its socio-political implications, the penal provisions should be introduced in a phased manner-initially it could be in the form of a small censure or a limited curb on the powers to be exercised under the treaty itself. Gradually, it has to give way to penalties with significant financial implications.When UN Security Council has the power to declare certain organizations or individuals with dubious track records as persona-nongrata and impose restrictions on their mobility etc, why can't similar powers be delegated to UNFCCC.

It is also important that the misdeeds of the defaulting countries are brought to the notice of the global community and the general public is mobilised to exert public pressure. Both, the media as well as the scientific community have an important role to play in this. The media has to ensure that it is not percieved as being partisan to the needs of the developed countries. At the same time the scientific community has to ensure that the impacts of continued high emissions are presented to the common man in a language which he can understand. I must admit here that a good beginning has already been made in this direction by the IPCC. We must endeavour to continue the good work done.It is also imperative that while formulating future financial and technology transfer related mechanisms, adequate provisions are made to ensure appropriate fund flow to research and scientific development sector as it is the backbone of our efforts towards a greener growth.The existing provisions under the Kyoto Protocol, unfortunately , do not provide for this to the desired extent.

Shankar Sharma
India | shankar.sharma2005@gmail.com
How suitable is coal based power policy for India?

Dear Ms Sunita Narain,
Greetings of the season.
While many people like you are busy at Poznan debating what can be done at the international level to restrict the GHG emisisons to an acceptable limit, there must be many like me around the world who are deliberating on what can be done at country levels.

I am convinced that there is a huge potential in India to reduce/ restrict the total GHG emissions to a much lower level (even if it becomes crucial to agree to a specific cut in GHG emisisons) without compromising on the developmental needs of all sections of our society. My modelling of electricity power system of Karnataka state, and the knowledge of Indian electricity sector gives me adequate confidence to say so. I have in the recent past sent this study report to you. I am also convinced that the same is true with most states of the Union, and even with most developing countries with minor variations.

My own personal example is that I am living in reasonably big house (> 2,500 sq ft built area) with TV, computer, water pump, telephones etc. in a rural environment but my electricity consumption last month was only about 35 Units, which when computed for annual per capita consumtion (by deviding it by 4 people in my home) is much much less than the national per capita consumption of about 700 Units. What this says is that our country can do much much better in electricity sector, which is a big contributor to GHG emisisons in the country. Similarly, it is so in other sectors like transportation, water consumption, industrial production etc. I keep wondering as to why can we not dedicate our time and energy on such issues (which have the potential to meet the energy demand of all sections of our society on a sustainable basis) closer to home than haggling on our rights to emit more in international fora?

Few days back we have also launched a national network of movements opposing coal power, which is aimed at mobilising the knowledge and resources to disseminate information on all the issues surrounding coal power, and on the much benign alternatives avaialble to our society. Through this forum we seek to bring a paradigm shift to the power policy of our country, wherein coal will be considered as non-essential source of energy for our society.

I enclose a recent article of mine on coal based power policy for India for your information.

I believe it is essential, in the present scheme of things, to give wider publicity to such issues.


Shankar Sharma Mulubagilu,
Doorvasapuram Post
Thirthahally - 577 432
Shimoga District, Karnataka
Phone: 08181 203 703 / 296 402 & 94482 72503
e-mail: shankar.sharma2005@gmail.com

Pramod Pandey
India | pramodp@mzf.jagran.com
As regards kyoto protocol, it was not as fruitfull as we were expecting. At Poznan, the team of CSE has done well as it is evident from news reports and press releases. I hope that CSE will succeed in its agenda as it is people's agenda.

hoping and wishing all the best.

Pramod Pandey
Dainik Jagran
Muzaffarpur (Bihar)

Ashok Kundapur
India | arkundapur@yahoo.com
I share the concern GHG effects and attempts to mitigate it. With relief I note that India is installing a 10MW Solar Thermal project at Nagpur. We are blessed with lot of sun shine, I wonder why our Govt. and energy experts are not keen on harnessing this free source of energy, which also goes a long way in mitigating GHG effects and saves crores to the exchequer. The Solar TPP can work for 9 to 10 months a year, but even if one assumes that the Solar power plans work only for 6 months in an year, that would be a lot of savings.

Ashok Kundapur
India | arkundapur@yahoo.com
The writ-up on Solar option for India has revealed many things. If Spain can do it, why not India which gets more sun?. I am one of those who believes that the Solar progress is being blocked by vested interests. There was some talk on 1 km high Solar Tower Technology, what hapened to it? why can't the Govt consider smaller towers?
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2009 is full of promise
Sunita Narain, January 1, 2009
I spent a week at the climate change conference in Poznan, and realized the world is in deep trouble and deeper denial. Worse, the denial is now entirely on the side of action.
Climate inaction
January 1, 2009
The climate talks in Poznan failed on all counts. The US was found missing in post-election inaction; climate-champion EU was squabbling over the economic pain of taking action; developing countries found themselves talking amongst themselves about what needs to be done to cut emissions.
It makes perfect sense to integrate the green dimension
January 1, 2009
Guy Ryder, general secretary of the International Trade Union Confedaration, went to Poznan to attend his first UN climate meet. He sees green opportunity in the financial crisis. Pradip Saha caught up with him
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December 04, 2008
CSE charts an agenda for action in Poznan, calls for tough action to reduce emissions and an agreement based on equity
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