Bhopal, Dec 19:
The Paris Agreement on climate change is a defeat for India and a blow to the culture of conservation and enrichment of water, wind, energy, food and shelter, ‘Water Man’ Rajendra Singh said.
The Indian knowledge system, which venerated and loved nature, conserved resources and was antithetical to exploitation, had emerged weaker and battered from two weeks of Paris climate change negotiations, Singh told IANS here on Friday.
“The CoP21 deal (Paris Agreement) is a clear win for the US,” he said, because Washington succeeded in absolving itself of its enormous liability for causing climate change which Rio, Copenhagen and Kyoto summits had imposed on it.
The world was looking upon Paris to force the US to commit itself to paying the damages that the three previous summits had imposed on it, but Washington managed to liberate itself from all its liability, said Singh who won the Stockholm Water Prize for 2015 for his efforts to improve water security in rural areas.
In fact, the whole ‘developed’ world, led by the US, managed to make the ‘developing’ and ‘least developed’ countries acquiesce in ridding itself of its historical responsibility of causing climate change, he said.
Singh, who stayed in Paris through two weeks of negotiations, said it had seemed initially that the summit would work towards implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), whose 17 goals included combating climate change and protecting oceans and forests.
“A firm commitment to SDGs’ Agenda 2030 then gave way to the US’ strategem to cop out of its obligations.”
The Americans tried hard to have the developed countries supervise and monitor the emissions of the developing and least developed countries, he said.
They did not succeed in these efforts but they were fully prepared to try to bring the same in the implementation of SDGs’ Agenda 2030.
Singh said there were 40,000 people attending the summit, but the real “decision makers” made up a ‘blue zone’ of no more than 400.
Three hundred out of those 400 spoke the truth and the remaining 100 were there to grind their own axe, he said.
“Eventually, these 100 powerful people, assisted by at least 1600 ‘officials’, ‘experts’, scientists, etc., had their way. All others – 37,600 delegates – belonged to the ‘green zone’ or ‘side zone’ who had little voice,” Singh said.
Even the one percent Indians, who are among the polluters, were on the side of the cunning movers and shakers from the developed countries.
Singh expressed dismay over the attitude of the government negotiators.
“The government only pitched for its right to use coal to provide for India’s energy needs. We clearly were completely out of touch with our own heritage and leadership and fell for the wiles of globlisation and commercialisation,” Singh added. (IANS)