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Rio+20: New Proposal Aims To Put More Green Shackles On Developing Nations

NEW DELHI: The meeting was meant to review the work done two decades after the famed Rio summit or the UN meet on Environment and Development at Rio de Janeiro in 1992. But the Rio+20 conference is turning into another global ground to put green fetters on developing economies.

A proposal floated in the run-up to the main meeting has suggested “sustainable development goals” along the lines of millennium development goals. But the goals could turn into green chains on growth in emerging economies with goals like carbon emissions and fixed renewable energy content in energy mix being forced down in the name of sustainable development.

The proposal mooted by Columbia in a recently concluded meeting in Brazil in the run-up to the big jamboree has stirred heated debate about new channels being found to break the principle of “common but differentiated responsibility” and imposing common standards and targets for greening the economy across developed and developing world.

While another meeting on the issue is slated to be held in China this month, a ministerial round to be hosted in Delhi will see the new “green” game play out more openly with India and other developing countries bringing forth counter proposals.

The proposal from Columbia, which is likely to slowly see support from European countries in the coming days, could also take forward the attempts of the developed countries at the UN climate change convention. At the climate convention too, the developed countries have been fighting hard to break or redefine the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities to impose mandatory carbon cuts on emerging economies.

At the Brazil meeting, India did put up a preliminary counter proposal pointing that sustainable development and poverty eradication were at the heart of the Rio summit and that they should remain the goals and other elements a via media only.

India too had commissioned three studies from non-government agencies on the issue which are likely to be in soon. The government will have to take a call on these studies as well as green benchmarking or accounting of the economy which have raised some concerns. Any national level accounting of green parameters could lend itself to a global regime with standards and targets, they have warned even at the climate talks.

The Times of India, 5 September 2011