|Climate Change. Copenhagen –
KICS Sharing Session: April 17, 2010
I went to Copenhagen as part of a large group from different INECC partners. About 30 of us wearing aprons bearing the Gandhian slogan wearing Gandhi caps, drew the attention of people.
|This old chart of emission from
World Resource Institute shows
that 67% of CO2 equivalent emission is on account of energy
Within this, transportation and electricity and heating are critical
This compares with emissions from land based acitivity of )), a sizeable portion of which is related to deforestations and fertiliser.
|Waste contributes 3.6%
Most dangerous is HFCs, and now hyper florocarbons, which were promoted as a solution to HFC in response to the Ozone layer issue. Even though it is only 1% of CO2 equivalent.
|The normal carbon cycle performs
the essential task of
warming the earth at a temperature which supports life as we know it. .
The Normal Influx is to the tune of 3.1 G t carbon per year.
Today we have 7.9 Gt per year. and the rate is increasing.
|The Human Eco footprint is the
sum total of every thing that we do on
earth, versus the Earth Ecology capacity , shows the we crossed the
threshold in 1970. Global Warming is only the last straw that would
break essential earth supplies like water, minerals etc.
Despite the recent questions raised about the inaccuracies in glacial melts, it can be said that the basic conclusions of impacts are sound. In fact the IPCC has been very cautious in its predictions. In the 2007, it spoke of AR 95% that the warming is due to anthropogenic reasons.
|You cannot directly corelate a
particular climate event to Global Warming alone. Climate Change is a
pattern over at least over 25 years. It is just that these events
are more frequent and more intense due to global warming. Further every
event may not be linked to global warming.
For example the Bihar floods are not due to Climate Change, but the
breaching of the embankments. Normally the higher amounts of rainfall
which is due to climate change would have not created a disaster, as
the water with have spread over the flood plains, and the local people
knew how to adapt to that.
|| The major issue is that after a
two degrees rise, the risk of abrupt
and major irreversible changes increases dramatically.
Therefore the choice before us is between disaster and catastrophe..
|In 1990, India which is
currently the fourth largest emitter, was
far behind all the other industriased countries in
Environment was on a global summit for the first time in 1992 at the
Rio Earth summit. This was the impact of the global environment
movement which was a response to the problems caused by
industrialisation in the west.
Three conventions were agreed at at Rio, including the one of climate change.
The Framework Convention on Climate Change agreed that the world should bring down its emissions to 1990 levels. Yet by 2004, not much changes were seen in most industrialised countries barring Germany. Emerging countries also showed some per capita increase though there were still far behind the global per capita average.
|The first IPCC report said that
the average emission was 4 tonnes per year. This compare to the fact
that the earth can
sustain only two tonnes per person per year. This chart shows the
difference of the emissions of the selected countries from the world
average level of 4 tonnes and the
sustainable level of two tonnes..
At the first conference of parties (COP 1) in 1993, the West and South fought tooth and nail. The West said that the South must also share the responsibility for emissions reductions as well. The CSE played a big role in getting differentiated responsibilities accepted
the Europeans wanted a 20% reduction, while theUS said 5%.
The Kyoto protocol settled for 5.2% reduction in emissions by Annex 1 countries. However, after pushing down the committment to 5.2 %, the US walked out. Al Gore was chairing the US contigent at that time. It may not have been his fault.
Mauritius was the first country to sign. They are among the first to suffer.
The AOSIS, ( The Association Of Small Island States ), is a vocal group, but no one care for them.
|The pre-industrial average of
CO2 equivalentg in the atmosphere
was ___ ppm
Today it is above 385 ppm.
The overall limit of Green House Gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere that are emitted due to human interventions should be limited to 350 ppm (tCO2e). This, we understand, could give us a chance to limit Global Warming to 2*c. Any higher, and it will spell catastrophe for us. While conservative estimates by science puts this critical figure at 350 ppm, and for political and convenience purposes, this figure is placed at 450.
At Copenhagen, the key targets are 350 ppm & < 2 degrees C.
|Further they are fudging on the
base year, which was to be 1990.
|Another bogey is that India
& China are among
the top five emitters. But these figures
are a fudge, as they do not make a distinction between the nature of
emissions. Also some of the calculations are a faulty: For exmaple, the
emissions of methane for cows are taken as
the same through out, whereas the average Indian cows emits twenty
than the Jersey cow.
||Equity means that every human
being should be entitled to the same amount of emissions, and that a
distinction needs to be made between survival and luxury
Also, the emission of exported goods should be accounted for by the consumer, and not so much by the producer.
Another issue is that dirty technology is being dumped on us, and they want us to pay for the higher technology.
|Currently the annual emission is
around 8 Gt C. It should peak in
2015 which is equivalent to 5 degrees rise in temp, and should be
brought down to ___ Gt C ( 350 ppm of Co2) which corresponds to 2 deg
rise in temperature.
One of the boggies in comparison between emissions reduction of India, China and US. This chart shows the capability in the economy above the threshold required for development.
|At Copenhagen, there was a
breakdown, as between Bali and Copenhagen, annexe 1 countries reneged
their 2008-2012 committments. The Danish draft was opposed by most non
annexe 1 countries.
The so called accord in Copenhagen, was no accord. Each country is to put down what is feasible for their country. and things were to move from there.
|Bolivia is taking a lead to get
a people charter going, by calling for a meeting in
The next rounds are
June 2010 Boon
Nov Cancun 2010
|Democratising the Climate Change
debate needs to take into account the Corporation, which is the
hidden hand in the negotiations. For example Al Gore's turn around
after Kyoto. At the time, Corporation sucessfully engineered the
CDM system such that they could take advantage of the mechanism.
Only UK and Germany were able to do something , but in the larger system are like the good cop, in the negotiations.
Basically Climate Change is part of larger problem. The problem of defining development and growth, the issue of equity and social justice
The richer 25% has a larger share of the incomes, whereas the poorest 25% sees its income decreasing .
implies that very structures that operate - economic, social, cultural,
spiritual, technological, need to be transformed. Top down, bottom up,
and sideways too. This is what gives meaning to the myriads of
experiments, innovations at the grassroots. We have myriads of
initiatives and experiments across the country, sub-continet, the
world; they are isolated, random, dispersed. The
moment we gain success, we are under pressure to scale-up, replicate,
duplicate, homogenize, and then hegemonise.
|For true structural
transformation, we need to avoid these temptations.
We need to patiently build up alternative structures of intermediary
layers of autonomy. This is the phase that we are faced with today
building up autonomous structures – with layered roles and
responsibilities in planning, finance, capacity development,
technological innovation, organization, etc.
We need a myriad democratised intermediary level institutions in structural transformation – in the independent, autonomous quest for alternatives. In that sense, there cannot be an alternative paradigm – it belongs to the blueprint mentality.
|Structural Transformation is a
subversive function – it is true satyagraha.
It is worth looking here at what we term Gandhism. Gandhi emphasized empowerment and transformation of society ; and the pursuit and practice of Social Change was imbued with political content. However, these initiatives had none of the organizational characters to classify them as modern. Modernism, as represented by both Capitalism and its variants, and Marxism and its variants, has failed. We must understand and appreciate Gandhi’s prescience.