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India Struggles to Maintain Position On The Global Table

12/05/09

Post by Sumeru Chatterjee, India

India has always been keen on maintaining a global status and position. The country always wanted to appear as a global leader, and wrongly assumed that it could do so without having to make any commitments, reductions or promises. Their Utopian concept came crashing down, when countries, both developing and developed, decided to declare reduction targets right before COP-15.

As the Conference approaches, India finds itself struggling to maintain its stance of “Deal Maker” at Copenhagen, with other nations constantly surprising the world with their promises. As of now, the global situation stands like this:

The U.S. has cleverly planned its moves in trying to maintain its status as world leader. The government has expressed significant contribution to the negotiating table. The biggest such offer comes with President Barrack Obama’s commitment to attend the meeting. Also, The U.S. has made plans to offer up to $10 billion a year to fight climate change. They have promised emission reductions in range of 17% by 2020. These are bold moves for a country that was barely a part of the process until recently.

The E.U has promised emission reductions of 20% but has plans to step it up to 30% if the world comes to a consensus. Japan has promised 25%

Therefore it was obvious that the developed world would be bringing a lot of bargaining chips to the table. This put pressure on the developing nations and China was the first to response by announcing a surprise – “Carbon Intensity” reduction of 40-45% by 2020.

Here’s the crucial point: Since China acted like the “leader” of developing nations (by being the first to response as well as due to its efforts of uniting the developing nations) India feels threatened about its global image and status.

Not having any substantial plans didn’t help either. The country hurriedly announced that the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh would attend the Conference and also promised carbon intensity reduction targets of 20-25% by 2020 with 2005 as a base line.

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