The world has been waiting anxiously for many years for an international agreement bringing together all countries to combat the global problem of climate change threatening all of humankind.
However, the recent Paris Agreement is deeply flawed as regards both bringing down emissions to safe levels as well as in the proposed international emissions control regime.
Contrary to the Statement of the Environment Minister made in the Lok Sabha on 16th December claiming success in securing differentiation and equity at Paris, only lip service has been paid in the Agreement to the principle of “common but differentiated responsibility” (CBDR) between developing and developed countries as agreed under the governing UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Paris Agreement has actually negated equity between nations as regards sharing the burden of reducing emissions by not assigning the main responsibility on the developed countries for their past loot of the environment. Following the game-plan of the US, the Paris Agreement has completely ignored past emissions, around 75% of which are the responsibility of the US and other developed nations. If past emissions are ignored and only future emissions are considered as in the Agreement, then developing countries such as India, whose emissions are currently rising given the stage of development, would appear as the main culprits rather than the developed countries. The framework of the Paris Agreement is decisively shifting the burden on to developing countries.
The Agreement also makes only unenforceable statements regarding the obligations of developed countries to provide finances and technologies to developing countries so as to assist in mitigation and adaptation of less environmentally damaging technologies.
It is highly regrettable that the Indian government succumbed to the US designs in imposition of huge constraints on India’s future economic growth and development. It is regrettable that the Government of India, including the Prime Minister, have hailed the Agreement as a great success.
In years to come, India would have to pay a heavy price for this surrender to US interests. The CPI(M) calls upon all progressive forces to resist this strategy of world imperialism and also to mount unrelenting pressure on the Indian government to implement its emission reduction pledges in such a manner as to promote pro-people rather than pro-corporate development, especially greater energy access to deprived sections in India.