Wednesday, February 16, 2005
THE KYOTO PROTOCOL on reduction of emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) comes into force on February 16 under circumstances that do not reflect well on policy-makers in many countries. They swear by a `globalising world' when it comes to economic phenomena but are hesitant to recognise the common threat to humanity from global warming, the causative factors behind which do not respect national borders or customs gateways. The United States, which has four per cent of the world's population but contributes one-fourth of the emission of all heat-trapping GHGs, including carbon dioxide, withdrew from the protocol during the first term of President George W. Bush. China and India, which are expected to play the role of engines of economic growth in the 21st century and contribute to accelerated GHG emission, have been exempted from the obligation of targeted reduction in the first phase of the treaty, running up to 2012. Thus the burden of carrying the Protocol — a child of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change — rests largely on the shoulders of the European Union, Canada, Japan, and Russia.
And I remember reading that if we (the people of the world) don't reduce the emission of green house gases drastically, then by 2010, we're headed for definite destruction. Remember reading the words 'a ticking bomb'. Look at the indecision here:
ndia and China are likely to face mounting pressure to undertake reduction targets in future despite their stance (never stated in unequivocal terms) that the U.S., as the biggest polluter in human history, should first accept such an obligation. Although this looks like a principled defiance of a hegemonic attitude, in effect it may amount to a confession that U.S. leadership is required for any worthwhile global endeavour. Australia has so far chosen to follow the U.S. example while the European Union's own commitment seems to have weakened, with Italy saying it will review its membership if the U.S. does not join by 2012. Tony Blair is reported to have declared his intention to do his "damnedest" to ensure that Washington joins the treaty.
And the conclusion:
What is lacking in all these pulls and counter-pulls is a recognition that in general, environment-friendly policies tend to be pro-poor by protecting the access of the poor to natural resources; and that if nation states continue to define economic growth in terms of the inevitability of the depredation of natural resources, the underdogs of the world may one day reject the very concept of economic growth as understood at present.
bwawheed by Argentyne at 7:44 PM