Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has called for equity between developed and developing countries in the upcoming climate change negotiations. Speaking to a gathering of journalists from India, South Asia and Africa, CSE Director General SunitaNarain said as the world’s nations prepare for climate change negotiations in Paris later his year, it is important for developing countries to negotiate strongly in Paris. “Climate negotiations are considered by governments to be a soft issue while trade negotiations are given priority. It is critical that countries from South Asia and Africa send their best people and negotiate hard on climate change,” she said.
Ms Narain was speaking to a group of around 100 journalists from India, South Asia and Africa who were attending CSE’s Annual Media Briefing on Climate Change. For the past seven years, CSE has been holding this briefing for mediapersons of South Asia and (for the past two years) from Africa. These annual briefingsusually precede the UN Conference of Parties (CoP) on climate change.
“This year, too, the climate change negotiations are very important. The world is already looking at the prospect of not containing climate change within 2 degrees Celsius. Recently, the emission plans of 119 countries was put out by the United Nations Framework for Climate Change (UNFCCC). These emission reduction plans will not contain temperature rise below 2 degrees,” said Chandra Bhushan, CSE’s Deputy Director General. He added that there was a 25 per cent ‘ambition gap’ until 2030.
In a discussion on the subject of carbon budget, Bhushan said that only 250 billion tonne of carbon budget will be left after 2030. “Much of Africa and India will not have met their development needs by 2030,” he said. Referring to the carbon cake, Bhushan said, “The developed world with 10 per cent of the world population and will eat 26 per cent of the carbon cake.”
Emphasising the importance of viewing cumulative emissions by countries rather than the current annual emissions, Narain said, “It is due to the emission by developed countries such as the United States that the world has reached this state where it has to restrict emissions and global warming.” She added, “They (US and EU) emitted in the past. We will emit in the present and future,” indicating the emission that India and Africa will make in order to meet the developed needs of their people.
Narain said that CSE’s recent publication – Capitan America – US Climate Goals: A reckoning –had received little attention from the northern (western) media. “I would like the Southern media to become stronger, understand the politics around climate change so that there is equity and fairness in negotiations,” she said.Narain added that CSE would like to hold a workshop on climate change in Africa before the next CoP.
Speaking on the politics and issues, Kaah Aaron Yancho, a radio journalist from Cameroon, said, “Western media has been shaping the agenda in Africa. We need to ensure that our policies are not affected by the powerful but biased foreign media,” he said.
The opening day of the two-day briefing was addressed by national and international specialists including Roxy Mathhew Koll, Scientist at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune; Emmanuel OlukayodeOladipo, Professor of Climatology in Nigeria; Rosa Perez, Member of the Philippine Climate Change Commission; CSE’s Programme Manager for Climate Change, ArjunaSrinidhi; YoubaSokona, Special Advisor on Sustainable Development, South Centre, Geneva, among others.