India Vows Not To Reduce Emissions

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Fact: India issued its National Action Plan on Climate Change in June 2008 disputing man-made global warming fears and declared the country of one billion people had no intention of stopping its energy growth or cutting back its CO2 emissions.

http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/003242.html

In addition, in January 2008, Indian engineer and economist Rajendra Pachauri, who is the UN IPCC Chairman, announced that he was going “to look into the apparent temperature plateau so far this century.”

One of India's leading geologists, B.P. Radhakrishna, President of the Geological Society of India, expressed man-made global warming skepticism in 2007. "We appear to be overplaying this global warming issue as global warming is nothing new. It has happened in the past, not once but several times, giving rise to glacial-interglacial cycles. We appear to be now only in the middle of an interglacial cycle showing a trend toward warming as warming and cooling are global and have occurred on such a scale when humans had not appeared on the planet,”

http://www.staff.livjm.ac.uk/spsbpeis/RADHAKRISHNA-CCNet2007.htm


VK Raina, India's leading Glaciologist, questioned the assertion that global warming was melting glaciers in India. "Claims of global warming causing glacial melt in the Himalayas are based on wrong assumptions," Raina told the Hindustan Times on February 11, 2007. The paper continued, "Raina told the Hindustan Times that out of 9,575 glaciers in India, till date, research has been conducted only on about 50. Nearly 200 years data has shown that nothing abnormal has occurred in any of these glaciers. It is simple. The issue of glacial retreat is being sensationalized by a few individuals, the septuagenarian Raina claimed. Throwing a gauntlet to the alarmist, he said the issue should be debated threadbare before drawing a conclusion." Read more on this article...

Major discovery' from MIT primed to unleash solar revolution

Friday, August 1, 2008

In a revolutionary leap that could transform solar power from a marginal, boutique alternative into a mainstream energy source, MIT researchers have overcome a major barrier to large-scale solar power: storing energy for use when the sun doesn't shine.

Until now, solar power has been a daytime-only energy source, because storing extra solar energy for later use is prohibitively expensive and grossly inefficient. With today's announcement, MIT researchers have hit upon a simple, inexpensive, highly efficient process for storing solar energy.

Requiring nothing but abundant, non-toxic natural materials, this discovery could unlock the most potent, carbon-free energy source of all: the sun. "This is the nirvana of what we've been talking about for years," said MIT's Daniel Nocera, the Henry Dreyfus Professor of Energy at MIT and senior author of a paper describing the work in the July 31 issue of Science. "Solar power has always been a limited, far-off solution. Now we can seriously think about solar power as unlimited and soon."


Inspired by the photosynthesis performed by plants, Nocera and Matthew Kanan, a postdoctoral fellow in Nocera's lab, have developed an unprecedented process that will allow the sun's energy to be used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen gases. Later, the oxygen and hydrogen may be recombined inside a fuel cell, creating carbon-free electricity to power your house or your electric car, day or night.

Read more!

http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2008/oxygen-0731.html Read more on this article...

Global Warming Talks Leave Few Concrete Goals

Thursday, July 10, 2008



President Bush, who had insisted that any commitment to combat global warming must involve growing economies as well as the rich nations, recruited China and India to the table and received rare accolades from some environmentalists for doing so.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/10/science/earth/10assess.html?hp Read more on this article...

Controversy on CFL bulbs.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Posted by Kaks at 11:29 AM 0 comments  

Carbon Chastity

Friday, June 13, 2008

The First Commandment of the Church of the Environment.

June 12, 2008

I'm not a global warming believer. I'm not a global warming denier. I'm a global warming agnostic who believes instinctively that it can't be very good to pump lots of CO2 into the atmosphere but is equally convinced that those who presume to know exactly where that leads are talking nonsense.

Predictions of catastrophe depend on models. Models depend on assumptions about complex planetary systems—from ocean currents to cloud formation—that no one fully understands. Which is why the models are inherently flawed and forever changing. The doomsday scenarios posit a cascade of events, each with a certain probability. The multiple improbability of their simultaneous occurrence renders all such predictions entirely speculative.

Yet on the basis of this speculation, environmental activists, attended by compliant scientists and opportunistic politicians, are advocating radical economic and social regulation. "The largest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy, and prosperity," warns Czech President Vaclav Klaus, "is no longer socialism. It is, instead, the ambitious, arrogant, unscrupulous ideology of environmentalism."

If you doubt the arrogance, you haven't seen that Newsweek cover story that declared the global warming debate to be over. Consider: If Newton's laws of motion could, after 200 years of unfailing experimental and experiential confirmation, be overthrown by Einstein and leading physicists, it requires religious fervor to believe that global warming—infinitely more untested, complex, and speculative—is a closed issue.

But declaring it closed has its rewards. It not only dismisses skeptics as the running dogs of reaction, that is, of Exxon, Cheney, and now Klaus. By fiat, it also hugely re-empowers the intellectual left.

For a century, an ambitious, arrogant, unscrupulous knowledge class—social planners, scientists, intellectuals, experts and their left-wing political allies—arrogated to themselves the right to rule either in the name of the oppressed working class (communism) or, in its more benign form, by virtue of their superior expertise in achieving the highest social progress by means of state planning (socialism).

Two decades ago, however, socialism and communism died rudely, then were buried forever by the empirical demonstration of the superiority of market capitalism everywhere from Thatcher's England to Deng's China, where just the partial abolition of socialism lifted more people out of poverty more rapidly than ever in human history.

Just as the ash heap of history beckoned, the intellectual left was handed the ultimate salvation—environmentalism. Now the experts will regulate your life not in the name of the proletariat or Fabian socialism but—even better—in the name of Earth itself.

Environmentalists are Gaia's priests, instructing us in her proper service and casting out those who refuse to genuflect. (See Newsweek.) Having proclaimed the ultimate commandment—carbon chastity—they are preparing the supporting canonical legislation that will tell you how much you can travel, what kind of light you will read by, and at what temperature you may set your bedroom thermostat.

On May 26, a British parliamentary committee proposed that every citizen be required to carry a carbon card that must be presented, under penalty of law, when buying gasoline, taking an airplane, or using electricity. The card contains your yearly carbon ration to be drawn down with every purchase, every trip, every swipe.

There's no greater social power than the power to ration. Other than rationing food, there is no greater instrument of social control than rationing energy, the currency of just about everything one does and uses in an advanced society.

So what does the global warming agnostic propose as an alternative? First, more research—untainted and reliable—to determine (a) whether the carbon footprint of humanity is or is not lost among the massive natural forces (from sunspot activity to ocean currents) that affect climate, and (b) if the human effect is indeed significant, whether the planetary climate system has the homeostatic mechanisms (like the feedback loops in the human body, for example) with which to compensate.

Second, reduce our carbon footprint in the interim by doing the doable, rather than the economically ruinous and socially destructive. The most obvious step is a major move to nuclear power, which to the atmosphere is the cleanest of the clean.

But your would-be masters have foreseen this contingency. The Church of the Environment promulgates secondary dogmas as well. One of these is a strict nuclear taboo.

Rather convenient, is it not? Take this major coal-substituting fix off the table, and we will be rationing all the more. Guess who does the rationing? &

Charles Krauthammer is a columnist for the Washington Post.

http://www.bwcitypaper.com/Articles-i-2008-06-12-221657.112112_Carbon_Chastity.html Read more on this article...

DOE Signs Agreement with Wind Energy Industry Leaders, Aims at 20% Electrical Generation by 2030

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

HOUSTON, TX. — On June 2, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Alexander Karsner, announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between DOE and six leading wind industry turbine manufacturers: GE Energy, Siemens Power Generation, Vestas Wind Systems, Clipper Turbine Works, Suzlon Energy, and Gamesa Corporation. This two year collaboration aims to promote wind energy in the United States through advanced technology research and development and siting strategies to advance industrial wind power manufacturing capabilities.

"The MOU between DOE and the six major turbine manufacturers demonstrates the shared commitment of the federal government and the private sector to create the roadmap necessary to achieve 20% wind energy by 2030," Assistant Secretary Karsner said. "To dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance our energy security, clean power generation at the gigawatt-scale will be necessary to expand the domestic wind manufacturing base and streamline the permitting process." Read more on this article...

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Should you be alive today?

Monday, June 9, 2008

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Melting Asia

Saturday, June 7, 2008

In the past couple of years, Chinese officials have begun sounding like converts to the climate-change cause. In late 2006 12 ministries helped produce a 415-page report on the impact of global warming. It foresees a 5-10% reduction in agricultural output by 2030 (a shift from previous thinking on this among Chinese academics which held that global warming might benefit agriculture overall); more droughts, floods, typhoons and sandstorms; a 40% increase in the population threatened by plague. The report also admits the possibility of damage to the Tibetan railway. Last year China published its first policy document on climate change, admitting that coping with global warming presented “severe challenges”.

China also now admits its own contribution to the problem. Officials reacted frostily last year when the International Energy Agency, a rich-country think-tank, said China would overtake America as the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in 2007 or 2008. But the Chinese commerce ministry's website now carries, without negative comment, an article from April this year quoting University of California researchers saying China is already number one.

The impact of climate change on India, a hotter and poorer country, is likely to be worse. According to the Peterson Institute for International Economics, India's agriculture will suffer more than any other country's. Assuming a global temperature increase of 4.4°C over cultivated areas by 2080, India's agricultural output is projected to fall by 30-40%.

Yet India's response to this doomful scenario has been, at best, haphazard. For example, it has made only occasional studies of 11 Himalayan glaciers. It has also shown little concern for the regional political crisis that climate change threatens. As sea-levels rise, for example, the IPCC warns that 35m refugees could flee Bangladesh's flooded delta by 2050. Yet even in India, attitudes are changing.

Read more:

http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=11488548 Read more on this article...

Posted by Kaks at 11:05 AM 0 comments  

India oil price hike

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The ministry’s decision to hike the oil price will not have any particular impact on a section of automobile users — the owners of LPG-run vehicles.

The price of auto-LPG in the country is not subsidised by the Government and is being governed by international prices, said Mr Suyash Gupta, General, Indian Auto LPG Coalition (IAC), industry body of auto-LPG suppliers.

Although the auto-LPG, is not being subsidised, its price/litre remains about Rs 15 lesser than petrol, while it is almost equal to or a little less than that of diesel in many Indian cities. The auto-LPG users are still in an advantageous position due to the substantial gain in running cost resulting from better fuel efficiency. The running cost is cut down up to 60 per cent, says the IAC Web Site.

Suzuki is launching the LPG version of M800 this month. Hyundai will launch LPG-Santro and Accent, while planning to launch an LPG variant of i10 next year.

Tata Motors launched the LPG-Indica a fortnight ago.

“The success of Wagon R Duo has proved that there is a huge market for vehicles fitted with LPG kits. As LPG becomes more available we are sure to see more OEM’s launching their LPG variants. Rising cost of fuel is another factor. We could see as much as 10 per cent of all new cars coming fitted with LPG/CNG fuel systems in the next three-five years,” said Mr N.K. Minda, Managing Director of Minda Auto Gas, the company that provides LPG kits to OEMs including Maruti Suzuki.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2008/06/05/stories/2008060551990300.htm
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Posted by Kaks at 11:53 AM 0 comments  

Global hoax?

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"Kids across America are being victimized by global warming hysteria," according to Holly Fretwell, author of The Sky’s Not Falling: Why It’s OK to Chill About Global Warming.

"I wanted to know what kids just like mine are hearing in their classrooms," Fretwell said. "Running a contest was a fun way to go about it."

"All of us, and our children in particular, are being confronted daily with half-truths and falsehoods about global warming," noted Fretwell. "It's just plain wrong."

She said that was or inspiration for the book in the first place.

In the video competition, the DiMarias from South Carolina submitted the winning entry, which is available through this link,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qF8a3O-FHNA

or by watching the following:



The second place goes to:

Read more on this article...

Posted by Kaks at 10:08 AM 0 comments  

EnergyPlus 2.2 released

Saturday, April 26, 2008

New Features in Versions 2.2.0

Data Sets

Electronic enthalpy air-side economizer curves
Microturbine electric generators

Daylighting

Reference point Illuminance levels calculated by DElight now included in standard output variables.
DElight reference points now show up on DXF outputs.

Design Day

Design days now allow scheduled input for Beam and Diffuse Solar values.
Design days allow users to select periods from weather files to be used in design/sizing calculations.

Input

Example input files created for all new features (More than 245 example input files now available). An additional set of realistic, benchmark files (15) have been added.

Zone Model

Internal gains can now be entered in intensity:
People can be entered as number of people, people/floor area or vice versa (area/person).
Lighting can be entered as total Watts, Watts/floor area or Watts/person.
Equipment (electric, gas, other) can be entered as Watts, Watts/floor area or Watts/person.


Read more for more features:

http://www.eere.energy.gov/buildings/energyplus/features.html

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Sorry to ruin the fun, but an ice age cometh

Thursday, April 24, 2008



THE scariest photo I have seen on the internet is www.spaceweather.com, where you will find a real-time image of the sun from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, located in deep space at the equilibrium point between solar and terrestrial gravity.

What is scary about the picture is that there is only one tiny sunspot.

Disconcerting as it may be to true believers in global warming, the average temperature on Earth has remained steady or slowly declined during the past decade, despite the continued increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, and now the global temperature is falling precipitously.

All four agencies that track Earth's temperature (the Hadley Climate Research Unit in Britain, the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, the Christy group at the University of Alabama, and Remote Sensing Systems Inc in California) report that it cooled by about 0.7C in 2007. This is the fastest temperature change in the instrumental record and it puts us back where we were in 1930. If the temperature does not soon recover, we will have to conclude that global warming is over.

All those urging action to curb global warming need to take off the blinkers and give some thought to what we should do if we are facing global cooling instead.

It will be difficult for people to face the truth when their reputations, careers, government grants or hopes for social change depend on global warming, but the fate of civilisation may be at stake.

Read more here:

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0%2C25197%2C23583376-5013480%2C00.html

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Posted by Kaks at 9:35 PM 0 comments  

HLCP version 1.03 released.

HLCP, Hourly Load Calculation Program, version 1.03 has been released.

Visit: http://hvacindia.com/hlcp/ Read more on this article...

Posted by Kaks at 1:01 AM 0 comments  

Helix power

Saturday, April 19, 2008



Wind. The planet breathes, and life is carried on its breath. Simple. Natural. Renewable. Free.
Helix Wind is an elegant solution for home and small business owners. Powerful enough to supply your needs yet harmonious with the environment, the strength of the wind is captured by our unique and highly efficient vertical blade design.
Sustainable. Affordable. Intelligent. Working with the environment, not against it.

http://www.helixwind.com/en/

End of Post Read more on this article...

Posted by Kaks at 11:19 PM 0 comments  

Solar energy cooked food in India

Wednesday, March 19, 2008



India is well-known for delicious food, and the kitchen is considered to be a sacred place in any Indian home. And now India has something else to be proud of: the world’s largest solar kitchen. The system has been installed as a collaboration between the Academy for a Better World and Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, with technology from Solare-Brücke, Germany. With 84 receivers and cooking at 650 degrees, the system can produce up to 38,500 meals a day when the sun is at its peak!

More pics and writup here:

http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/03/17/world%e2%80%99s-largest-solar-kitchen-in-india-can-cook-upto-38500-meals-per-day/ Read more on this article...

Posted by Kaks at 12:54 PM 0 comments  

Absence of consensus

Wednesday, March 12, 2008




"Future dangers will not come from the same source [communism]. The ideology will be different. Its essence [environmentalism and climate alarmism] will, nevertheless, be identical – the attractive, pathetic, at first sight noble idea that transcends the individual in the name of common good, and the enormous self-confidence on the side of its proponents about their right to sacrifice the man and his freedom in order to make this idea a reality."

"What I see in Europe and the U.S.," Klaus cautioned, "is a powerful combination of irresponsibility, of wishful thinking, of implicit believing in some form of Malthusianism, of a cynical approach of those who are themselves sufficiently well-off, together with the strong belief in the possibility of changing the economic nature of things through a radical political project."

Read more:

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig9/floy2.html Read more on this article...

Nanosolar

Tuesday, March 4, 2008



by Steve Hansen | 12th November 2007

Silicon Valley-based Nanosolar’s Powersheet was named innovation of the year by Popular Science. The Powersheet is a solar cell made with printing-press style machines that set down a layer of nanoparticle ink onto metal sheets as thin as aluminum foil. The panels can be made for about a tenth of what current panels cost and at a rate of several hundred feet per minute.

Nanoparticle ink is a proprietary ink developed by Nanosolar that makes it possible to simply print the semiconductor of a high-performance solar cell on highly conductive yet low-cost foil.

Nanosolar’s cells use no silicon and the company’s manufacturing process allow it to create cells that are as efficient as existing cells for as little as 30 cents a watt versus about $3/watt for existing silicon-based solar cells. For comparison purposes, to compete with coal that cost per watt has to be in the $1 per watt range.

Nanosolar is backed by several heavy hitters including Google’s founders, Benchmark Capital, SAC Capital, GLG Partners, OnPoint Technologies (the US Army’s private equity fund), and others including a $20 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Drooling for a chance to invest in this company? Stand in line - the firm is privately held and is presently not accepting any new capital.


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Posted by Kaks at 1:31 AM 0 comments  

Temperature Monitors Report Widescale Global Cooling

Sunday, March 2, 2008



Twelve-month long drop in world temperatures wipes out a century of warming

Over the past year, anecdotal evidence for a cooling planet has exploded. China has its coldest winter in 100 years. Baghdad sees its first snow in all recorded history. North America has the most snowcover in 50 years, with places like Wisconsin the highest since record-keeping began. Record levels of Antarctic sea ice, record cold in Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Mexico, Australia, Iran, Greece, South Africa, Greenland, Argentina, Chile -- the list goes on and on.

No more than anecdotal evidence, to be sure. But now, that evidence has been supplanted by hard scientific fact. All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA's GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously.

A compiled list of all the sources can be seen here. The total amount of cooling ranges from 0.65C up to 0.75C -- a value large enough to wipe out most of the warming recorded over the past 100 years. All in one year's time. For all four sources, it's the single fastest temperature change ever recorded, either up or down.

Scientists quoted in a past DailyTech article link the cooling to reduced solar activity which they claim is a much larger driver of climate change than man-made greenhouse gases. The dramatic cooling seen in just 12 months time seems to bear that out. While the data doesn't itself disprove that carbon dioxide is acting to warm the planet, it does demonstrate clearly that more powerful factors are now cooling it.

Let's hope those factors stop fast. Cold is more damaging than heat. The mean temperature of the planet is about 54 degrees. Humans -- and most of the crops and animals we depend on -- prefer a temperature closer to 70.

Historically, the warm periods such as the Medieval Climate Optimum were beneficial for civilization. Corresponding cooling events such as the Little Ice Age, though, were uniformly bad news.

Update 2/27: The graph for HadCRUT (above), as well as the linked graphs for RSS and UAH are generated month-to-month; the temperature declines span a full 12 months of data. The linked GISS graph was graphed for the months of January only, due to a limitation in the plotting program. Anthony Watts, who kindly provided the graphics, otherwise has no connection with the column. The views and comments are those of the author only.

From:
http://www.dailytech.com/Temperature+Monitors+Report+Worldwide+Global+Cooling/article10866.htm

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Waging an eco-friendly war in Iraq!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Courtesy: The Onion.

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Posted by Kaks at 8:58 AM 0 comments  

E-sycotic

Sunday, February 24, 2008

In a high-end Mumbai neighborhood, Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani's personal high-rise, named Antilia, is under construction. When completed, the 24-story Ambani family home will include its own health club, terraced sky-gardens, and 50-seat screening room (the reclusive Ambani is reputed to be a huge Bollywood fan). Antilia also boasts three helipads and a 168-car garage. This may sound like transportation overkill, if not outright eco-terrorism, for a family of six. But despite its 38-to-1 car-to-person ratio, Antilia has been billed by its American architects as a "green building." And under the leading standards for green architecture, the building will likely qualify.

http://www.slate.com/id/2180862/

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Posted by Kaks at 9:22 AM 0 comments  

Energy Efficient Buildings, Advanced Energy Design Guides Free Download

Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Advanced Energy Design Guide series provides a sensible approach to easily achieve advanced levels of energy savings without having to resort to detailed calculations or analysis. The four-color guides offer contractors and designers the tools, including recommendations for practical products and off-the-shelf technology, needed for achieving a 30% energy savings compared to buildings that meet the minimum requirements of ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-1999. The energy savings target of 30% is the first step in the process toward achieving a net-zero energy building, which is defined as a building that, on an annual basis, draws from outside resources equal or less energy than it provides using on-site renewable energy sources.

These guides have been developed through the collaboration of ASHRAE, the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA), and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), with support from the Department of Energy (DOE), to help meet all of an owner’s energy performance requirements. In an effort to promote building energy efficiency, ASHRAE and its partners have made these guides available for download (PDF) at no charge.

http://cms.ashrae.biz/aedgdownload/index.php

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Davos and after--beyond the conversations

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Posted by: Nandan M. Nilekani, Co-chairman, Infosys Technologies, on January 26 2008.

http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/blog/bangaloretigers/archives/2008/01/davos_and_after.html

"Taking time off for a short post near the end of a busy Davos schedule.

It is becoming clear that even as we work together to address global issues, the recent events in the capital markets show that the world is becoming increasingly multi-polar.

Growth is now more distributed and broad-based with the emergence of multiple centers of growth spearheaded by countries such as India and China. As emerging economies continue to grow, they must be involved in the process of global governance. We need a more equitable representation of countries in global institutions for a constructive discussion on issues of trade and the environment.

At Davos, we are seeing the interconnectedness of our world across our panel discussions. Take, for instance, the dialogue on clean energy. We discussed bio-fuels as one of the alternatives. However, bio-fuels as a solution need to be seen in the light of sugarcane, corn and maize – a repository of agricultural produce – becoming sources of energy. This will affect the agrarian economy, the labor situation and burden the food supply chain.

But I think there is a growing realization that while there is the issue of equity with the developed nations about who contributes how much to the transition to a low-carbon economy, there is also a realization that it is in India’s own strategic interest – since India is at a critical point of growth – to provide direction to that growth and create a system of incentives to create a low-carbon economy.

All these conversations we have at Davos have a subliminal effect – we absorb them, take them with us, assimilate them and revitalize our intellectual tookit… I think that then starts flowing into academic pursuits, into business decisions, policy decisions… They manifest in the most unexpected ways." End of Post. Read more on this article...

Editorial: Bali: the mother of all no-deals

Monday, January 14, 2008

By Sunita Narain


The Bali conference on climate change is over. But the fight against climate change has only just begun. The message from Bali is the fight will be downright brutal and selfish. Let us cut through the histrionics of the Bali conference to understand that as far as an agreement is concerned, the world has not moved an inch from where it stood on climate some 17 years ago, when negotiations began. The only difference is that emissions have increased; climate change is at dangerous levels. Only if we drastically cut emissions, will we succeed in avoiding a full-blown catastrophe.
Let's understand what was agreed (or not) in Bali. The conference ended with an action plan-an agreement to begin talks, since the world recognized the need for deep emission cuts and an end to negotiations in two years. For developed countries, the agreement will include "measurable, reportable and verifiable nationally appropriate mitigation commitments or actions (my emphasis), including quantified emission limitation and reduction objectives (again my emphasis)…ensuring comparability of efforts among them, taking into account their...circumstance".
Understand now what this un legalese means. Firstly, no targets have been set for developed nations to cut emissions; no timeframe has been set by when emission would have to peak and then fall sharply. Secondly, it accepts that the countries will take on actions, not commitments. Countries will have voluntary targets, which can be quantified or be in the form of reduction objectives. This negates (if not destroys) the previous global consensus (leaving out renegades like the us) that the developed (rich and high carbon debt world) must take on emission-reduction commitments, the targets must be agreed through multilateral processes and these must be legally binding and enforceable.
Now compare this consensus to the first draft of the Bali action plan and tell me if you think we won or lost in Bali. Under the agreement, "The Annex 1 countries (the already industrialized countries) as a group would reduce emissions in the range of 25-40 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020 and that global emissions of greenhouse gases would need to peak in the next 10-15 years and be reduced to very low levels, well below half of the levels in 2000 by 2050." A no-brainer conclusion, I would think.
But why then make a big deal of Bali? Two reasons: one, because developing countries managed to fight off a sneaky and underhand attempt to include them in the group that would take on commitments. This is part of the age-old battle. We know that the us (and Japan, Canada and New Zealand) leading with many hiding at the back have insisted for 17 years that they will not do anything till emerging big polluters like China, India, Brazil and South Africa are asked to cut emissions.
We also know that to get the us on board, the Europeans time and again try to persuade reluctant parties. This game has been played ad naseum and was played in Bali. The first draft of the agreement said it would include "means to recognize, in a measurable and verifiable manner, national mitigation actions by developing country parties that limit the growth of, or reduce, emissions". In other words, actions by these countries to either reduce or avoid emissions would be recognized and these would need to be measurable and verifiable. But this text was amended at the last minute. Words were craftily twisted. Now the plan said developing country parties would take "measurable, reportable and verifiable nationally appropriate mitigation actions". In other words, take on commitments. Worse, the rephrasing was done behind the backs of G-77 and China and the meeting to pass it was called on the sly. Nasty, despicable actions.
This is when the Indians (and others) got up to demand change. The final agreement calls for "appropriate mitigation actions by developing countries" in a "measurable, reportable and verifiable manner". This was a mock-battle, because the draft would never have been acceptable to developing countries. But damage has been done. As the European Union and the secretariat of the climate convention were seen to back this re-worded action plan, trust has been eroded. Now developing countries will be even more reluctant to engage. Hardliners will say, "we told you so".
But there is a more serious reason to take Bali seriously. This is the real battle, the one we all lost. For long the us has been insistent on its way to combat climate change, which is based on voluntary action. This was never accepted because the world was certain that to combat climate change it needs a multilateral agreement, with hard targets and measures for compliance. That is why the world agreed to the Kyoto Protocol, which set small and hesitant targets for rich nations. The US didn't sign it. Now, even as we understand the urgency and the desperation of climate change, the world powers have reneged on all of us.
We in India have to particularly note this decision. The fact is that we would also prefer the US way. It is convenient because we think that when we have to join the global climate agreement, it will give us the ultimate cop-out. It is possibly for this reason, I am hearing from India's senior negotiators, a tacit acceptance of this no-deal. To justify this approach, they say that the mandatory approach is not working. Emissions of many target-bound countries are increasing. They say as the world can't hold the rich nations accountable, it may be best to agree on the mother of all compromises-to let the us decide in the interest of us all on its way to not cut emissions.
This is the real thorn on the road to Copenhagen-where the agreement has to be signed in 2009. How do we pressure the US? Let's discuss this again and again to find real answers.
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