Earth Summit: India piggy-bags China
World biggest environmental sustainability and growth mela will start in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janerio later this year with India having not much option except to rally behind China.
The Rio conference being held to celebrate 20 years of Earth Summit in 1992, when foundation of several international environmental and sustainability conventions were laid, provides a platform for a sustainable and green future.
It is all set to remain a platform with the developing countried led by China not willing to budge much from its stand against the west prescribing developments for others. India, as unsual, is hiding itself behind China which has taken a bold and a strong step to oppose the agenda said to be driven by Europeans.
Unlike India, China has a stronger footing in G-77 grouping as it provides aid to a large number of poorer African nations. Thereby, it has the might to convince them to oppose certain devastating sections of the zero draft prepared by the United Nations.
Rightly too, as the zero draft talks about national accounting norms, specific deadlines to meet the proposed Social Development Goals, especialised environmental body status to United Nations Environment Programme and green economy norms.
China has taken a stiff stand that the zero draft undermines the sovereignty of the individual nations as it imposes a global monitor and cannot repeat the mistake of accepting Millinieum Development Goals (MDGs) in 1992.
What could rattle the fastest growing economies of the world China and India is the proposed green economy norms. It speaks of transition to renewable sources of energy to certain levels in 2030 and reduce overall emissions.
There is an attempt to impose the norms of the developed world on the developing world, which should not be acceptable. Not just it will slow down the pace of development and inclusive growth, it will increase the cost of living of an individual in the developing world, including India.
You had witnessed the increase in living costs as we adopted western costlier ways of living but if the green economy norms become a rule, prices of essential commodities will sky-rocket. Reason the proposed norms covers everything under earth — from how to produce our food to technology for industry.
India this week got its Cabinet approval to indirectly support Chinese stand to oppose Europeans. The note clearly started that Europeans through the Rio summit were trying to “blunt” the economic advantage of India and China and it should be opposed at all costs.
But, lot can change in the next week or ten days as negotiators from across the world try to chart out a agreement for world leades coming to Rio on June 20. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will be leading the Indian delegation.
Many expect a dramatic change in the final days of the Rio conference when the world leaders meet to chart out future growth strategy for the world. The experts can be proven wrong as world is going through a bad economic period and US presidential elections are around the corner.
Just keep your fingers crossed?