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

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Potential of a Carbon Finance Fund

Can the creation of a carbon finance fund effectively tackle implementational, institutional, legal, financial and capacity-building issues related to the clean development mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol?

COMMENTARYEconomic & Political Weekly EPW november 1, 200817It is immaterial, even if fascinating to some, whether numerous white people will vote for Obama to prove their credentials as non-racists, while others will give him their vote because he is not all that black – just as some black people will surely cast their ballot for Obama precisely because he is black. By far the most critical consid-eration is that the US requires a radical redistribution of economic and political power: Martin Luther King Jr had come to an awareness of this in the last years of his life, but there is little to suggest that Obama, a professional politician to the core, has similarly seen the light.Establishment CandidateIn these deeply troubled times, when there is much casual talk of the American ship sinking, the white ruling class is preparing to turn over the keys of the kingdom to a black man. Imperial powers had a knack for doing this, but let us leave that history aside. Here, at least, Obama appears to have displayed audacity, taking on a challenge that many others might have forsworn. However, nothing is as it seems to be: with the passage of time, Obama has increas-ingly justified the confidence reposed in him as an establishment candidate. A man with some degree of moral conscience would not only have shrugged off the endorsements of Colin Powell and Scott McClellan, until recently among Bush’s grandstanding cheerleaders and appa-ratchiks, but would have insisted that Powell and others of his ilk be brought to justice for crimes against the Iraqi people.But Obama will do no such thing, for after all Powell and the master he served, like Kissinger and Nixon before them, only made “tactical” errors. Obama prides himself, moreover, on being a healer not divider: he will even rejoice in the support for him amongpreviously hardcore Republicans ( When Obama is not speaking about values, hope, and change, he presents himself as a manager, representing brutal American adventurism in Iraq and Afghanistan as illustrations of policies that went wrong. He comes forward as a technician who is best equipped to fix broken policies, repair the system, and get America working once again. One can only hope that an America that is once again working does not mean for a good portion of the rest of the world what it has meant for a long time, namely, an America that is more efficient in its exercise of military domination and even more successful in projecting its own vision of human affairs as the only road to the good life. To believe in Obama, one needs to hope against hope.Potential of a Carbon Finance FundRajeev SinghCan the creation of a carbon finance fund effectively tackle implementational, institutional, legal, financial and capacity-building issues related to the clean development mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol?Climate change is being described as the most important environ-mental challenge before human-kind today. Studies have shown that the current rapid change in climate is largely due to human interface. There is an agree-ment that anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have contributed to climate change. The International Energy Associa-tion’s World Energy Outlook 2007 shows that the implications of governments adopting no new policies to control emissions trends, the world emissions would jump by 57 per cent between 2005 and 2030 to 41.9 giga-tonnes, an average growth of 1.8 per cent per year. The mitigation of climate change, by drastically reducing GHG emissions and stabilising the carbon dioxide concentra-tion in the atmosphere has become a pre-requisite to avoid a strong alteration of the climate system. The carbon market is one of the products of such efforts.The Indian economy has experienced strong growth during the last few years. It is likely that the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) will continue to grow at the rate of between 7 and 9 per cent in the next few years. With its vibrant economy and a growing population, India has become a major energy consumer. Access to reliable, affordable electricity is a pre-requisite for socio-economic develop-ment. In terms of GHG emissions, the trends are rising rapidly as well. The his-torical share in cumulative emissions, measured over the period 1900 to 2005 amounted to 2 per cent for India. This pattern changes radically during the period from 1900 to 2030, the emission rises to 4 per cent. Nonetheless, per capita emissions in India still represent a frac-tion of those of industrialised countries.Evolution of Carbon Market The Kyoto Protocol, which was adopted in 1997 pursuant to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, represents an agreement that international efforts are required to reduce anthropo-genic GHG emissions that contribute to global climate change. In accordance with the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities”, the industrialised coun-tries, which are responsible for the vast majority of historic GHG emissions, agreed to collectively reduceGHGs by an average The author is grateful to Charles Cormier for several discussions on this subject. Rajeev Singh ( is with the Indian Revenue Service.

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