By Soumya Dutta
In a well attended seminar in the Finnish Parliament building in
Ms Nicola Bullard of the Focus on the Global South brought out the evasive tactics of the richer countries in admitting and acting on their responsibility to both drastically cut their Green House gas emissions, and their accountability to provide the finance for the poor countries to cope with the crisis and prepare their vulnerable populations for adaptation to the changing climate patterns. While it was conservatively estimated that a minimum of $400 billion/year (one billion $ is nearly Rs.4800 Crores) will be needed to take both mitigation (reduction of polluting / high emission methods and changing over to cleaner and low energy ways) and adaptation (preparing communities to face the inevitable changes that are already impacting on them, and are going to worsen), the rich European countries were earlier talking of only $100 billion, but the recent proposal by the British Prime minister Gordon Brown talking of total northern contribution of $10 billion a year, with the birth-place of the high-consumption, high-emission industrialization, UK, contributing nothing more than $800 million per year (about enough for a high way project) !
The hypocracy and non seriousness of the rich countries can be gauged from the fact that with the recent financial crisis, these same governments – along with the governments of the large developing countries - managed to pump in nearly $ 12 Trillion into the world financial system, to save the largest banks and commercial companies. Obama-Brown-Sarkozy-etc are more than willing to put up their countries entire resources to save the once hugely profit making banks and their exhorbitantly paid executives, BUT when it comes to saving the entire planet and particularly its most vulnerable population of about 300 crore people, they find no money ! Nicola also raised the question that as it is becoming clear that the rich countries are not serious about about a genuine solution based on common but differentiated responsibility to address the crisis, will it not be better for the poorer and exploited world to refuse to sign on to an unjust, hypocritical, bad ‘deal’ at Copenhagen, rather than cling to the hope that anything – even bits & pieces thrown to the poor as alms will serve ‘some’ purpose ?
Anna Filipini from the World rainforest Movement, Uruguay graphically brought out how rich countries are sucking out all the resources from the developing countries, and the ruling elite of these poorer countries have become party to these exploitation and brutal suppression of affected people. She was presenting against both the dangers of the newly fashionable and in-consideration-for-climate-deal “REDD’ (Reduction of Emissions through Deforestation and Degradation in tropical countries), and the devastation that mono-culture tree plantations are doing in their countries. One Finnish company, Bothnia owns and controls so much land in Urugya that their country is often referred to as the
On behalf of the Indian climate justice groups present there, Soumya Dutta raised the issues of the attempts to brand countries like