ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Durban Subversion

A paradigm shift on global strategy, but will it make a difference to climate change or only pass the buck?

The United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Durban legally binding instrument that will impose emission curbs on all ended dramatically with a last minute agreement of sorts, countries from 2020. The agreement is simply not enough in which only talks about more talks to arrive at some kind of the face of growing evidence that urgent action is needed today,not tomorrow, or the day after to curb greenhouse gas emissions and the acknowledged risk of a rise in global temperature beyond 2 degrees Celsius. The summit also saw the effective burial of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and with it, whatever the spin of the Indian delegation, the idea of common but differentiated responsibility (CBDR).

The final outcome in the form of the Durban Platform exposes the refusal of industrialised countries, which are responsible for the historical accumulation of greenhouse gases, to accept their primary responsibility in resolving this global environmental crisis. Since the 2009 Copenhagen Summit, the European Union (EU), backed by the United States (US), has strategised and now virtually succeeded in ensuring that CBDR – the most significant principle on which the Kyoto Protocol, negotiated under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC),was based – is set aside in any future instrument.

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