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You cant cheat a honest man – Carbon credits are a Rs 28,000-cr ‘opportunity’

December 11, 2009 1 comment

For the rich, by the rich, to the rich

The Indian government has approved more than 1,400 projects as part of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) that could attract around $6 billion(Rs 28,000 crore) into the country by 2012 through sale of Certified Emission Reduction (CER) certificates, according to Environment and Forests minister Jairam Ramesh.

The National CDM Authority (NCDMA) in India has accorded Host Country Approval to 1,455 projects. These projects have seen an investment of more than $33.7 billion(Rs 1.6 lakh crore). If all these projects get registered at the CDM executive board, it will earn developers over 600 million CERs by 2012. At a conservative price of $10 per CER, the figure works out to a little over $6 billion. (via Carbon credits offer us a Rs 28,000-cr opportunity).

You can’t cheat a honest man!

This is a line from a 1939 movie of the same name.  It is a very interesting thought – and it is sometimes relevant.

Carbon credits is similar. The Developed World has spring a trap for the poor countries by dangling the carrot of ‘carbon credit’. Two years ago, 2ndlook had warned about the hazards of ‘token carbon credits’. Three months ago, a Quicktake on Climate Change detailed a part of the Climate Change game plan.

Indic justice versus Desert Bloc

One of the fundamental flaws of the Kyoto Protocol was the principal of ‘polluter pays’. Based the retributive justice logic, it was something that was bound to fail. Instead it should have been based on the Indic justice principle – ameliorative and make good. The operating principle should have been ‘polluter cleans and does not pollute again.’

If the ‘Developed World’ (I have no idea what that term means), made its wealth by pollution, waste and environmental degradation, do the world’s poor want that tainted money? Instead, the ‘Developed World’ should have been asked to clean up and mechanisms put in place to ensure that these ‘offenders’ do not repeat.

The carnival of spoils

Instead, Copenhagen has become a carnival where 20,000 delegates are fighting over the spoils of environmental degradation, pollution and climate hazard. The Indian Government has, of course, lost touch with Indian ideals – and are trying out their hand at Hammurabic justice.

The poor or the ‘common’ man, in whose name Copenhagen Climate Change meet is underway will not see any benefits. Copenhagen is for the rich (from poor countries), by the rich (from rich countries) to the rich (from poor and rich countries) – and may the poor and common be damned.

India – you cant win this game. The dice is loaded against you.

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