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

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Vaunting Rhetoric versus Grim Realities

Assessing the 25th Conference of Parties

While the rhetoric of collective responsibility to achieve “ambitious outcomes” in terms of climate action to address the “climate emergency” stands questioned in the 25th Conference of Parties, the grim realities of the inequalities between countries and the evasion of responsibilities and commitments by the developed countries point towards the fundamental role and continued importance of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that remains wider in its scope and broader in its vision than the Paris Agreement. The developed countries are also seeking to manipulate the science–policy interface in an attempt to sideline the equity and climate justice-related perspectives of the developing countries.

The 25th Conference of Parties (COP25) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the annual climate summit of the countries that are signatories to the Convention, recently concluded at Madrid in December 2019. Instead of being hailed as a milestone, almost universally, it has been held to be a failure. A remarkable range of opinions appears to concur on this view, from the United Nations Secretary–General to a number of governments, including the European Union (EU) and some of the small island states, and a range of non-governmental organisations, including some of the biggest international players.

Referring to the year-long wave of public action preceding COP25, especially by students and youth in the developed countries, this narrative of failure has held all countries responsible for the lack of “ambitious” outcomes adequate to dealing with the “climate emergency.” While some accounts have justifiably noted the role of the United States (US) in the overall outcome, others have also targeted Brazil, and China, and even India by innuendo. This narrative of collective responsibility for the outcome has dominated the global media too and has been uncritically echoed in the national media in countries like India.

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Updated On : 6th Jan, 2020
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