India and Climate Change

February 4, 2010 • Daily Email Recap

Thanks to Joe Bish for this article in the Wall Street Journal. The author is the managing director of the Brookings Institution:

“…If developed nations are held responsible for emissions that they historically contributed, oblivious to their impact on climate change, why shouldn’t developing nations take responsibility for producing generations of people who will generate emissions into the future? Put another way, it is unclear whether we should use the population figures of 1950, 2000 or 2050 in judging per capita contributions to climate change.”

As the world community gears up for another round of climate-change talks — and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives in Delhi on Sunday for meetings with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh — a central issue will be how to bring developing countries into a climate-change pact.

Developing countries such as India do not want to pledge to reduce their emissions until industrial countries have first demonstrated not just pledges but actual emissions cuts. Industrial countries, for their part, generally recognize that they should act first. But they want some assurance that their reductions won’t be meaningless in the face of rapidly rising emissions in China and India.

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