Javadekar calls for “Climate Justice”

India’s Minister of State of Environment, Forests & Climate Change made an intervention in the COP-21 meeting in Paris and said that we must ensure climate justice.

He called for a serious debate on profligate high carbon lifestyles and called for a sustainable lifestyle. He said “the world must debate seriously the sustainable lifestyle issue, as only sustainable lifestyle can mitigate the challenge of Climate Change. Technology may bring forth some solutions, but we must ensure that needs of 7 billion people are met on a sustainable basis. Greed and unsustainable lifestyle should have no place in a new world regime to fight Climate Change and its ill-effects”.

Shri Javadekar further quoted from the “Earth Overshoot Report” regarding the ecological foot print of nations and pointed out the deep divide in the lifestyles of developed vs developing countries and said that developing countries have need based consumption. He said “Latest Earth Overshoot Report is an eye-opener. Global Footprint Network (GFN) every year presents a report on ecological footprint which maps consumption and requirement of natural resources to sustain it. Lifestyle adopted in developed countries is unsustainable and it will require five Earths to fulfil their lifestyle demands. On the other hand, Indian lifestyle is sustainable where one earth is sufficient. This is not because of poverty, but because of Indian value systems. We believe in need-based consumption and our lifestyle is against extravagant consumption. We have an ingrained sense of responsibility where wasteful consumption is abhorred. Therefore, the Paris conference must include a debate on lifestyles. The Earth Overshoot Report has indicated that the Ecological Footprint of developed countries ranges from 8 to 4 whereas India is at 0.9”.

The Minister made a strong pitch for the poor countries saying that every poor has the right to come out of poverty. “India and other developing countries have priority of eradication of poverty. They cannot be asked to compromise on that goal in the name of Climate Change. Every poor of the World has the right to emerge out of poverty, and poor and developing countries need sufficient carbon space to ensure sustainable development. As Climate Change impacts the poorer and vulnerable sections severely, we must ensure climate justice”.

Shri Javadekar also expressed concern over the recently concluded Bonn negotiations round wherein instead of discussion on draft text, there was an effort to steamroll and thrust new ideas. It also rejected proposals of developing countries. He said that for a successful Paris summit, the next round of Bonn negotiations in October must come out with a draft text, which will include all the principles of convention like CBDR and Equity, as also all elements of Convention like Mitigation, Adaptation, Finance & Technology and Capacity Building in the core agreement.

Unfortunately, the climate change discussions are likely to continue for a long long time as the developed countries like USA are trying to renege on their prior commitments. The developed countries are also sensing a business opportunity in fighting climate change by developing new technologies that can be licensed to the other countries. As this game continues to be played across various cities, the poor and the weak are going to suffer immensely due to climate change related disasters, diseases, flooding etc. The human race along with other species are in for a hard time.