Discrepancy in development, the main barrier to save the world from destruction


Chinmay Prasun Biswas :

Due to different reasons some countries like Australia and New Zealand have strongly objected to several parts of the joint resolution passed at the COP-28 conference in Dubai to curb global warming.

As seen in previous summits, the COP 28 summit has also been marred by disagreements and disputes but only because of that it would not be justified to dismiss this meeting as a failure.

It has some success also because this meeting has accelerated the formation of a fund to compensate the countries affected by global warming. Commitment of the participant countries to keep greenhouse gas warming within the absorption capacity of nature by 2050 has advanced a lot.

Moreover, this meeting can’t be considered a failure because it ended with a pledge that by 2025 each member country would submit specific plans to reduce global warming. By 2030 every country will produce the steps of progress regarding the comprehensive plan and by 2050 emissions can be restricted to carbon absorbing capacity of nature.

At least that’s the plan in writing but will it be materialised at all? It is a burning question. India is unwilling to accept the target of 2050 and wants to stick to 2070 as the goal to reachnet zero carbon emissions.

There is another problem also. The countries which are badly affected have already begun to feel that the Dubai Pledgeis actually denying the wrath of warming and attaching priority on financial interests of some countries. According to them, target of 2050 will be too late to avoid environmental damage.

According to environmentalists, the question of the survival of civilisation is the most important one.

Then, why is the interest of a few rich countries to be highlighted? Countries lagging behind in the race of development have claimed that they are paying the price of development of developed countries at the cost of their (underdeveloped countries) lives.

If the responsibility of preventing global warming is imposed on them, they will have to take the responsibility of saving people of some big countries sacrificing their own development. So, the basic problem lies in this difference of position of development.

All these objections were known ahead of this meeting because preparations for any international meeting continues throughout the year among the member countries. Their positionon related issuesis also informed. Everyone knows who will raise what kind of objection and why.

So, the main purpose of such meetings is to reduce the rift of objection and create a position of consensus. In this consideration COP -28 must be accepted as a progress towards curbing global warming. However, calculation of progress will continue. It is also necessary because from discussion the ways to fill the gap of progress will emerge.

The six main issues that gained ground at the Dubai summit were: – 1) Creation of compensation fund to help countries affected by global warming 2) Taking stock of progress towards curbing global warming 3) Green Pledge 4) Commitment to prevent health damage due to pollution 5) Funding for global warming 6) Getting out of traditional fossil fuels.

A main obstacle to decrease global warming is the socio-economic disparity between countries around the world.


Natural disasters are increasing as a result of warming. Coastal life is becoming difficult. Fisheries and farming are endangered due to whim of nature. Nature’s fury hitsboth poor and rich countries.

Cyclones occur frequently in American coast. As rich countries are technologically more advanced and financially very powerful, they are much ahead to tackle the effects of crisis.

It is also true that lifestyle of people and requirements to sustain mechanical advancement of developed countries are more than 80% responsible for global warming. For this reason the G-77 group proposed for creation of a compensation fund at the COP-27 summit.

The COP-28has approved it which will be administered by the World Bank. Away from it, for the first time a decision has been taken toevaluate the steps taken by member countries to curb global warming under the 2016 Paris Agreement. This will be done bi-annually.

India has not signed the Green Pledge, Health Pledge and the Fossil Fuel Pledge. The Green Pledge means that member countries will triple their use of green energy by 2030 and will not make new investments in coal.

Health Commitment is to take action to address growing disparities within and between countries caused by warming because warming affects health also. Not only the whim of the season, wide financial inequality is also at the root of it.

Many small and island nations are seeking to move faster to reduce air pollution because their existence has become fragile due to rise of sea level. Finally, the formation of a climate protection fund has advanced towards implementation from commitment.

As pledged in 2009, the developed world will form the fund out of their own treasury. It was supposed to be launched in 2020 but due to the indolence of rich countries it did not begin.

At last, at this meeting the OECD group has finally agreed to create an initial fund of 10 trillion dollars. Preparation of the complex process of utilisation of this fund has also commenced. Further discussion is required regarding the ways how this fund will help the affected countries.

The most important point is that the differences over what to do to save the environment for human civilisation are narrowing down through discussion. One of the reasons for that is certainly nature’s becoming more and more ruthless.

At the same time it is also true that collective unscrupulousness of human beings around the world has led the earth towards this terrible stage. Now the question lies elsewhere.

If every country wants to protect its own interest it will not be possible to save environment for the survival of our civilization. So, responsibility must be taken collectively where developed countries will have to bear the major share.

(Writer Chinmay Prasun Biswas is a former Commissioner of Taxes)