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Walk the talk on carbon tax, Mr Finance Minister

Budget 2015, presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, has a first. In it, India has accepted that it has a de-facto carbon tax—on petroleum products and dirty coal. Arguably, the only big green initiative of this budget is the increase of cess on coal—from Rs 100 per tonne to Rs 200 per tonne. But the question is: is this carbon tax, imposed on the carbon content of fuel, doing what it should—reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are responsible for climate change? In other words, is there a design behind the carbon tax to ensure we move beyond polluting fossil fuels?

India’s climate strategy needs revision

Climate change negotiations are by now predictable. The already-industrialised come to each conference of the parties (COP) with a clear game plan, that is, to erase their contribution to the emissions already present in the atmosphere, thereby effectively remove the differentiation between their responsibility and that of the rest of the world to act. This would rewrite the 1992 convention on climate change and let them evade the obligation to provide funds and technology for action in the developing world.

US-China climate deal: Maker or breaker?

In my previous article I wrote that India should demand an ambitious climate change deal, because we need the world to stay safe—below the guardrail of 2°C rise in temperature. I also said that for the deal to be effective, it is necessary to ensure that every country has the right to development but within the planetary limits. In other words, we must operationalise equity, a prerequisite for global cooperation on climate change.

Last call to get climate deal right

The Indian government must not use “equity” to block climate change negotiations. It must be proactive on equity and put forward a position on how to operationalise the sharing of the carbon budget—accounting for countries’ contribution to past emissions and allocating future space—in climate talks.

I wrote this last year when the UPA government was in power. I am repeating this as the NDA government prepares for the next conference of parties (CoP) to be held in December in Peru.

Why US-China climate deal is neither ‘historical’ nor ‘ambitious

It will take the world towards a catastrophic beyond 4OC temperature increase pathway

India is not prepared to tackle climate change impacts

It is evident from the Working Group II (WG II) report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that climate change will impact the world severely and the risks are intensifying. This is expected to put the lives of the world’s poor at stake. India is especially  vulnerable since it houses 33 per cent of the world’s poorest people.

Latest IPCC report reeks of northern agenda

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group Report III suggests historical emissions are a thing of the past; it endorses carbon removal options, allowing the fossil fuel industry to continue its polluting operations

India is not prepared to tackle climate change impacts

Warming will slow down economic growth and make poverty reduction more difficult, and further erode food security

The end game: Will Warsaw be a repeat of Poznan?

Climate negotiations at Warsaw may give the world a financial mechanism to deal Loss and Damage, but it may be a non-starter like the Adaptation Fund agreed to at the Poznan COP

As I leave a cold and rainy Warsaw, the outcome of the 19th Conference of Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) looks as gloomy as the weather.

I (don’t) care

“I care” is the slogan of CoP19 at Warsaw.  With this symbol, Poland wants to tell the world that it cares for climate change. But the facts are otherwise. Next to the biggest climate conference, Poland is also hosting the biggest coal conference in Warsw. That’s symbolic of the position that Poland has taken in climate negotiations. But Poland is not the only problem. Every developed country is now going back on its past commitments.

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