New Delhi/Washington, Apr.28 (ANI): As senior diplomats and politicians from 17 biggest greenhouse gas emitting (1) countries assembled in Washington DC for the climate talks under the 'Major Economies Forum' (MEF), they couldn't have missed a couple of Greenpeace climbers dangling below a huge banner bearing a picture of our beautiful blue planet and the words "Too big to fail".
"Time is running out. This meeting is an opportunity to fast track discussions on avoiding catastrophic warming and inject some much needed urgency and cooperation into the ongoing UN climate talks, which are dragging on at a snail's pace," said Karen Sack, Greenpeace International Political Director.
"President Obama has said that the US is ready to lead on global warming. Now we need the President to move from words to deeds and engage leaders in Congress and the world's governments to lead them toward climate solutions," she added.
A peak in global emissions by 2015 followed by a rapid decline to as close to zero as possible by 2050 is crucial to protect the climate. The industrialised world must commit to deeper cuts in emissions and provide financial and technical assistance to developing countries to enable them to switch to clean energy, stop deforestation and adapt to those climate impacts that are now unavoidable. It is also becoming apparent that unless developing countries reduce their projected emissions growth by 15-30 percent by 2020, with support from industrialized countries, the planet is headed towards climate catastrophe.
India has a clear context for acting too if it wants to preserve the carbon space of the poor for development. While on one hand there is a rapidly growing rich consumer class in India making the country the 12th largest luxury market in the world, India also has more than 800 million poor people who are extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and the rich currently hide behind the negligible emissions of the poor.
"The per capita emission divide between the rich consumer classes and the poor is almost 4.5 times, which is approximately the same as the divide between Europe and India in per capita emissions. So India needs to implement "intra national" equity as well." said Srinivas Krishnaswamy, Policy Advisor, Greenpeace. "Recent news reports about the Solar Mission, part of the Indian National Action Plan on Climate Change, do indicate ambitious targets. This clearly shows that India must stop treating climate action as a burden and begin to see it as an opportunity for green growth and inclusive development." He added.
"Greenpeace is calling on the world leaders to take personal responsibility for guaranteeing a strong, legally binding and fair agreement at the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen, in December. That means they must be there in person," said Vinuta Gopal, Climate and Energy Manager, Greenpeace.
In March, Greenpeace India released its roadmap for slowing climate change, the Energy [R]evolution: A sustainable World Energy Outlook report. The report provides a practical blueprint for rapidly cutting energy-related CO2 emissions in order to help ensure that global greenhouse gas emissions peak no later then 2015 and rapidly decrease after that. This is achieved even while ensuring that India has access to the energy it needs to match its ambitious growth plans. (ANI)