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Doha talks: After 6 days, no consensus yet on climate issue

Piyali Mandal  |  New Delhi 

The talks, which were initiated with the promise of coming up with a new regime to stall the spiraling effect of climate change, failed to deliver on the promises so far. Even as the talks enter the sixth day, the Indian industry and the government are keeping their hopes low for a favourable outcome.

During the week, India’s chief negotiator had told reporters “We are disappointed that the developed countries are in the process of locking in low ambitions under this second commitment period. We call on them to raise their level of ambition consistent with what is required by science.”

started on a bad note: The US said it would not raise its weak level of commitments to cut emissions. Australia put out its Kyoto Protocol target, under which it says it would reduce emissions by 0.5 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020. During the week, the said they would not step up the pledge to cut emission. It has agreed to 20 per cent carbon emission cuts from 1990 levels for the period of 2013 to 2020, a target which has already been achieved.

As global leaders continue to debate in on the extent of fund to be allotted to developing countries for mitigating adverse impacts of climate change, Indian firms are taking proactive measures to reduce carbon emission as well as emission of certain HFCs or Hydro fluorocarbons, which are potent contributors to global warming. HFCs are currently used in refrigeration, air conditioning, insulating foams, etc. Its production and use are projected to grow by more than double between now and 2050, with the vast majority of the growth occurring in China and India. In India alone, 300 mn air conditioning units will be in service by 2030, as per the data by the Indian Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Manufacturers’ Association. The power consumed by air conditioning will also rise by over 100-fold by 2030.
Some domestic firms as well as global firms operating in India are switching to alternative cooling systems, using natural coolants or moving to green buildings that doesn't require artificial cooling. Here's how some firms are using alternative cooling systems.
Green freeze
Godrej:  In 2012, Godrej & Boyce, inaugurated new production line for the manufacturing AC. The new line is estimated to consume 23% less energy than the current top-of-the line 5-star models across brands. 
Panasonic: Panasonic claims it’s using Eco Navi technology in its ACs that senses the absence of people in a room and cools select areas, translating into reduced energy consumption by nearly 30%. 
Green buildings 
Swabhumi Hotel Complex, Kolkata uses innovative building design that stimulates the way trees trap winds to deliver cooling services. 
NIIT University, Neemrana, Rajasthan, uses earth-air tunnels which act as self-regulating heat sink, to maintain the ambient temperature.   
Green vending
Coca Cola: On December 2009, the soft drinks major announced that, globally, 100% of their new vending machines and coolers will be HFC-free by 2015. Till April 2012, the firm has replaced 600,000 units using natural refrigerants worldwide.
PepsiCo:  Till April 2012, PepsiCo has over 147,000 HFC-free units (coolers & vending machines) worldwide.

The assurance by climate negotiators from developed countries such as the US, Germany and the UK that their governments will continue to pay out aid aimed at helping the world’s most vulnerable countries cope with global warming failed to resonate well with the developing countries.

“Financing a key piece of the puzzle as the transition to low carbon economies will cost. But as yet, promises have been made but never delivered. Instead fast-track financing — promised by developed countries to pay for mitigation and adaptation costs — has not been additional or new. Instead, it is repackaged from existing aid,” said Sunita Narain, director general of Center for Science and Environment.

Even Indian industry bodies had been demanding clear roadmap on climate financing for a long time.

First Published: Sun, December 02 2012. 00:00 IST