Emerging nations shine at Rio meet

Declaration has Sino-Indian footprint all over

India, Brazil and China appeared to have scored a major victory with the 55-page Rio+20 conference declaration affirming that developing countries need additional resources for sustainable development.

Prime Minister addressing Rio+20 summit.

The declaration at the summit, which was officially called United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development,  had Sino-Indian cooperation written all over it. Though the two Asian giants are two of the worst polluters, the nations participating in the summit have no qualms in allowing India and China to grow.

The document – The Future We Want –recognises that poverty eradication is the overarching objective of any sustainable development as one in five people on this planet or over one billion people still live in extreme poverty and one in seven—14 per cent of global population—is undernouris­hed.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in his address at the Summit attended by 125 world leaders, had said: “Many countries could do more if additional finance and technology were available. Unfortunately, there is little evidence of support from the industrialised countries in these areas (reducing emissions intensity). The ongoing economic crisis has made matters worse.”

“We were actively engaged with G-77 and China on environmental issues. All our concerns were taken care of in the draft,” said Union Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan. The world leaders, in their declaration, said they recognised the crucial importance of enhancing financial support from all sources for the sustainable development for all countries, in particular developing nations. At the same time, the summit called upon all countries to prioritise sustainable development in the allocation of resources in accordance with national priorities and needs.

The summit also talked about faltering global economy. The much-talked-about green economy could provide options for policymaking but should not be a rigid set of rules. Both India and China felt that the concept of green economy was brought into picture by western nations to tackle the competitiveness of Indian and Chinese industry as it could be used to impose non-tariff barriers.

While the idea of having a set of sustainable development goals were agreed upon by the nations, its implementation was pushed beyond 2015 by which the world is likely to have a new climate change treaty to replace Kyoto Protocol.

If the new treaty becomes a reality, it may also spell out emission cut requirements for rich nations and some emerging economies as well.

An inter-governmental panel would be established under the United Nations General Assembly to assess the financing needs and strategies for sustainable development which will be examined and acted upon by the UNGA.

A similar mechanism will be put in place to facilitate development, transfer and dissemination of clean and environmentally sound technologies.

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