Nobel laureate and former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan urged developing countries such as India, China and South Africa to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He asked developed countries to be equally responsible in run-up to the 2015 Climate Conference.
“Everybody has a responsibility. The fact that countries like India, China and (South) Africa are having increasing emissions does not mean developed countries will not take cuts. But that does not also mean that India, China and Africa will not take responsibility. There are certain differentiations in the matter that need to be considered,” Annan, chairman of Kofi Annan Foundation, said here on Thursday during the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit organised by The Energy and Resources Institute.
On the issue of countries taking binding commitments and concluding the new climate agreement by 2015, Annan said nations cannot afford to ignore environment issues in their national policies. It is up to every individual to take collective action and make a difference with the help of governments around the world, he said while addressing a press conference.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted in 1992 and has since been ratified by 195 Parties. The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 1997 to implement the UNFCCC and entered into force in 2005.
It laid down targets for the reduction or limitation of greenhouse gas emissions only in developed countries and transition economies. In 2007, the member countries initiated work aimed at drawing up a post-2012 climate agreement, applicable to all emitters of greenhouse gases. In 2011, the Parties affirmed their will to conclude this new climate agreement in 2015, with entry into force planned for 2020.
According to RK Pachauri, director general, TERI the problem of climate change is not happening due to large-scale emissions by India and China. It is happening, he said, due to a concentration of greenhouse gases that was accumulated over a span of 150 years.
“The concentration of greenhouse gases has happened due to a small group of countries. However, it will be a mistake if India emulates what others have done. Then it will be disastrous,” said Pachauri.