12 April, 2021

A Wet Behind The Ears Feeling

Trade winds of change have steered India’s climate priorities off-course

A Wet Behind The Ears Feeling

After all the hoopla—there aren’t too many world summits attended by over a 100 heads of state and the representatives of some 191 countries—the Rio+20 conference turned out to be a damp squib. Nations pay a great deal of lip-service to the environment. However, the 49-page, 283-para declaration was obfuscatory even by UNspeak.

Even before the start of the three-day conference, UN administrators pointed out that there were not going to be any treaties coming out of Rio. Only affirmations of political commitment. At the end, the declaration read like a wish list of green objectives—with no deadlines, much less penalties, for not abiding by regulations. In sharp contrast to the Earth Summit two decades ago, India was invisible. In recent years, as witnessed in the climate summits at Copenhagen, Cancun and Durban, India has jettisoned the G77 group of developing countries, which it spoke for in 1992, and thrown in its lot with Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa—BRICS.

Recall that 20 years prior to...

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