What's the article about?
- It talks about the shortcomings of ongoing negotiation of climate treaties from the perspective of developing countries, particularly India.
- GS3: Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment;
What is the climate treaty?
What are the shortcomings of the current negotiating process?
- First, citizens in developed countries are not even aware that two-thirds of their national emissions of carbon dioxide come from their diet, transport, and residential and commercial sectors, which together constitute the major share of their GDP; the consumption sectors are not independent silos but reflect their urban lifestyles.
- Second, the process ignores that global well-being will also follow urbanisation of the developing country’s population, requiring fossil fuels for infrastructure and energy to achieve comparable levels.
- Third, the need for vast quantities of cement and steel in developing countries for infrastructure — constituting essential emissions, as they urbanise — is not being considered.
Ignoring science while negotiating climate treaties:
- Earlier negotiations were based on science, but in Glasgow, in 2021, negotiators zeroed in on coal to reduce future emissions.
- This initiative was not based on science and it ignored the key finding of the IPCC on the centrality of the carbon budget, i.e., cumulative emissions associated with a specific amount of global warming that scientifically links the temperature goal to national action
What is a “Carbon Budget”?
What is Climate Justice?
What are the reasons for climate injustice?
- Climate injustice flows from the negotiations and not from the text of the Climate Treaty.
- First, the process adopted the structure of international law in a manner that rejected historical responsibility for a continuing problem, and steadily shifted the burden to China and India.
- Second, the agenda was set around globalised material flows described as global warming (the symptom), and not wasteful use of energy.
- Third, public finance is used as a means to secure a political objective, and not to solve the problem itself.
- Fourth, the longer term trend has been ignored.
- India’s thrust on LiFE (or “Lifestyle for Environment”), with the individual shifting from wasteful consumption of natural resources goes back to the original science.
Lifestyle for the Environment (LiFE) Movement:
Note: LiFE Movement is very important for all stages of exam: pre, mains & interview.
- Consumption-based framing challenges the ‘universalism’ that has dominated the negotiations and its common path of reductions based on single models.
- The carbon budget formalises a ‘diversity’ of solutions. For example, in developed countries, exchanging overconsumption of red meat for poultry can meet half the global emissions reduction required by the end of the century.