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Time for a serious relook at global warming, and action

Arindam ChaudhariThe volatile situation sweeping across nations because of the devastating effect of storms, tsunamis, floods etc is predominantly a direct impact of global warming. Modern day natural calamities have increasingly killed hundreds of people across the world and injured thousands. All these calamities have induced fear and panic among mankind. The fear and panic has also gifted developed nations a reason to meet every year and make policies that seem pro-environment but in reality are pro-rich countries and anti-poor nations!

One such global event that is organised under the pretext of addressing global warming is the UN Climate Change Conference. The latest conference, better known as COP 18 (Conference of Parties; session 18), which concluded in Doha last month is a case in point. A summit on protecting the environment was held in a city that in all probability is the largest contributor to global warming.

Surprisingly, no renewable sources of energy are used in Doha, which has a per capita annual carbon emission of 50 tonnes that is three times that of US. Moreover, this so-called Climate Change Conference, year after year, witnesses delegates flying down in their fuel-guzzling private jets from all corners of the world, parades of motorcycles plying through the streets for security checks, water supplied from state-of-the-art power consuming desalination plants (in a country where water is the most scarce resource), exotic food items being mobilised from various regions and delegates commuting in sedans and SUVs that guzzle tonnes of fossil fuel being mobilised from various regions and delegates commuting in sedans and SUVs that guzzle tonnes of fossil fuel. The amount of environment destruction can be gauged by the fact that a similar conference back in 2009 released around 40,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide!

The Doha COP 18 conference was also more of a freewheeling exercise where the delegates gathered without a purpose or commitment. The rounds at the Doha conference brought nothing except some rhetoric and efforts to protect the public opinion in the home turf of concerned countries; and of course, big corporate lobbying drives.

And appeals to developed nations during the conference were without any effect. In the Copenhagen Summit held in December 2009, in a pitched battle between the rich and poor countries, developed nations cleared a sum of $30 billion to developing countries as an additional funding in 2010-2012. However, many investigative agencies have enough evidence to prove that the funding commitment has not been kept.

Everything said and done, climatic changes are becoming a greater cause for worry and we desperately need a seriously focussed platform that delivers results. The much hyped COP 18 doesn’t really seem to be that. Undoubtedly, COP 18 is a failure; it’s time for a serious rethink and action.

Author is a management guru and Honorary Director of IIPM Think tankĀ 

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