Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Framing the Global Warming Narrative

Right now it can be dismissed as mere political posturing but the stance India and China took today at the end of the climate change summit in Poznan, Poland may have profound, long-term ramifications.

The Indian newspaper, The Hindu, reports that India united with China to fix blame for global warming and its climate change consequences squarely on the West and to point the finger at a number of Western nations, including Canada, for sabotaging efforts to help developing countries cope with its effects:

"Knowing that developing countries had failed to get the industrialised world to part with even one extra percent of their profits from carbon trade, India started the note of dissent at the final session of the Dec 1-12 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Industrialised countries led by the European Union, Japan, Canada, Australia and Russia had refused to part with the money sought by developing countries to help them cope with climate change effects. That had happened behind closed doors. Then the Indian delegation chose to make the matter public in a dramatic finale.

...developing countries were angry by what they saw as a cynical refusal to help on the part of industrialised countries that had put almost all excess greenhouse gases in the atmosphere in the first place.

The excess is leading to climate change, which is already lowering farm output, leading to more frequent and more severe droughts, floods and storms and raising the sea level, with developing countries bearing the brunt."

Minutes before Ghosh's intervention, Nowicki had announced that an Adaptation Fund that would provide money to least developed countries (LDC) to cope with climate change effects had become operational at the Poznan summit.

But the fund now has less than one percent of the money developing countries need to cope with climate change effects, as estimated by the UN Development Programme. Its funding comes from a two percent levy on money that industrialised countries make through carbon trading.
Developing countries wanted to raise this two percent levy to three percent to help put more money into the Adaptation Fund. Industrialised countries refused.

Even now, millions of poor people in developing countries are losing their homes, their livelihoods, and their lives from impacts of climate change. Most live in extreme privation at the best of times; climate change takes away their pitiable homes, hearths and bread.

The Indian criticism is far more than mere political posturing. It's the first step in the Third World and developing nations to directly fix responsibility for the impacts of global warming on the Western nations for creating the carbon emissions problem and then refusing to help those hardest hit by it.


1 comment:

WesternGrit said...

Unfortunately, you are 100% right. I'm sure Harper's peons were up front leading the charge on this one...