ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Global Warming : 'Clean' Energy Trap


The Kyoto Protocol on Global Warming was aimed at putting in place mechanisms for drastically reducing global warming, which meant not only the reduction of ozone depleting substances, but also prompting a move towards developing, adopting and using non-conventional clean sources of energy and encouraging low energy consuming development patterns. Unfortunately, today the focus is almost entirely on the first, without adequately investing in the second. Partly this is because the mechanisms prescribed by the Protocol allow for this. The joint statement on environment issued by the US and India on the occasion of the US president’s visit has prompted criticism on this count. Will the agreement, by promising extensive ‘soft’ loans for cleaner technologies using conventional fuels, set the country on a ‘clean energy’ path far removed from the development of alternative fuels and a less energy consuming development model?

India, it may be recalled, has steadfastly led the G-77 countries in opposing emission trading without entitlement, by which countries with high emissions can buy the quotas of countries which do not have high emissions. The G-77 countries have felt that this is inequitable and may in fact in the long run simply lead to an increased use of conventional sources of energy generation which mean emissions, even if in reduced quantities. It has been pointed out that with trading of emission quotas allowed, industrialised countries may choose to invest in more efficient and cleaner technologies for power generation from conventional sources in the developing countries rather than in their own. This is because the drastic reductions in emissions needed in their own countries is so much more expensive. This way these countries could earn ‘credits’ which would go towards adding to their emission quotas. It is this system that the G-77 is opposing. The US senate has refused to ratify the climate change protocol unless there is greater participation from countries like India and China.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Back to Top