You are on page 1of 23

Latest issue on environment, international conferences held, agenda, points discussed and action plan ahead.



• The 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference, commonly known as the Copenhagen Summit, was held at the Bella Center in Copenhagen, Denmark, between 7 December and 18 December. • The conference included the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 5th Meeting of the Parties (MOP 5) to the Kyoto Protocol. • international media reported that the climate talks were "in disarray". • The Copenhagen Accord was drafted by the US, China, India, Brazil and South Africa on December 18, and judged a "meaningful agreement" by the United States government.

• The document recognized that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of the present day and that actions should be taken to keep any temperature increases to below 2°C. • PURPOSE • The purpose of the Copenhagen Climate Council is to create global awareness of the importance of the UN Climate Summit (COP15) in Copenhagen, December 2009. • Creating international awareness of the importance of the Copenhagen UN Climate Summit and the successor treaty to the Kyoto Protocol. • Promoting constructive dialogue between government, business, and science. • Inspiring global business leaders by demonstrating that tackling climate change also has the potential to create huge opportunities for innovation and economic growth.

• ACTIVITIES • The central aim of the Copenhagen Climate Council is to create global awareness to the urgency of reaching a global agreement on how to tackle climate change at the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen, December 2009. • Copenhagen Climate Council activities include:
– – – – The 'World Business Summit on Climate Change'; Launching the 'Thought Leadership Series'; Launching the 'Climate LIFE' film, book, and Digital exhibition; co-hosting with CITRIS the scientific conference 'Unlocking the Climate Code: Innovation in Climate and Energy'; and – The Poznan side event 'Business Requirements of a Post-2012 Climate Treaty'.

• • • • • • •

Key elements of the Copenhagen Accord include: An inspirational goal of limiting global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius; A process for countries to enter their specific mitigation pledges by January 31, 2010; broad terms for the reporting and verification of countries’ actions;

A collective commitment by developed countries for $30 billion in “new and additional” resources in 2010-2012 to help developing countries reduce emissions, preserve forests, and adapt to climate change; and a goal of mobilizing $100 billion a year in public and private finance by 2020 to address developing county needs.
The accord also calls for the establishment of a Copenhagen Green Climate Fund, a High Level Panel to examine ways of meeting the 2020 finance goal, a new Technology Mechanism, and a mechanism to channel incentives for reduced deforestation.

• •

Copenhagen Accord

Source: UNFCCC, C-Quest Capital

• • • • • • • On 18 December after a day of frantic negotiations between heads of state, it was announced that a "meaningful agreement" had been reached between on one hand the United States and on the other, in a united position as the BASIC countries (China, South Africa, India, and Brazil). Views of Different Sources: An unnamed US government official was reported as saying that the deal was a "historic step forward" but was not enough to prevent dangerous climate change in the future. However, the BBC's environment correspondent said: “While the White House was announcing the agreement, many other – perhaps most other – delegations had not even seen it.” A comment from a UK official suggested the text was not yet final and the Bolivian delegation has already complained about the way it was reached – 'anti-democratic, anti-transparent and unacceptable'. The use of "meaningful" in the announcement was viewed as being political spin by an editorial in The Guardian. Early on Saturday 19 December, delegates approved a motion to "take note of the Copenhagen Accord of December 18, 2009". This was due to the opposition of countries such as Bolivia, Venezuela, Sudan and Tuvalu who registered their opposition to both the targets and process by which the Copenhagen Accord was reached. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the US-backed climate deal as an "essential beginning".

• THE AGREEMENT: • The Copenhagen Accord recognises the scientific case for keeping temperature rises below 2°C, but does not contain a baseline for this target, nor commitments for reduced emissions that would be necessary to achieve the target. • One part of the agreement pledges US$ 30 billion to the developing world over the next three years, rising to US$100 billion per year by 2020, to help poor countries adapt to climate change. • Earlier proposals, which would have aimed to limit temperature rises to 1.5°C and cut CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050 were dropped. • The Accord also favors developed countries' paying developing countries to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation, known as "REDD".

• US • US President Barack Obama said that the agreement would need to be built on in the future and that "We've come a long way but we have much further to go." • UK • Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Great Britain said "We have made a start" but that the agreement needed to become legally binding quickly. • FRANCE • French President Nicolas Sarkozy commented "The text we have is not perfect" however "If we had no deal, that would mean that two countries as important as India and China would be freed from any type of contract."

• CHINA • Wen Jiabao, China's prime minister said that the weak agreement was because of distrust between nations: "To meet the climate change challenge, the international community must strengthen confidence, build consensus, make vigorous efforts and enhance co-operation." • India's environment minister, Jairam Ramesh, has been reported as saying, "We can be satisfied that we were able to get our way" and that India had "come out quite well in Copenhagen". • BRAZIL • Brazil's climate change ambassador called the agreement "disappointing".

• Non-governmental organizations • Rajendra K. Pachauri stated the Copenhagen Accord is "good but not adequate." • Nnimmo Bassey, of Friends of the Earth international called the conference "an abject failure".

• Despite widely held expectations that the Copenhagen summit would produce a legally binding treaty, the conference was plagued by negotiating deadlock and the resulting "Copenhagen Accord" is not legally enforceable. • • The Copenhagen Accord asked countries to submit emissions targets by the end of January 2010, and paves the way for further discussions to occur at the 2010 UN climate change conference in Mexico and the mid-year session in Bonn. By early February, 67 countries had registered their targets.

• Failure blamed on developed countries • George Monbiot blamed the failure of the conference to achieve a binding deal on the United States Senate and Barack Obama. By negotiating the Copenhagen Accord with only a select group of nations, most of the UN member states were excluded.

• • • •

Failure blamed on developing countries By Australians The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has reported that India, China and other emerging nations cooperated at Copenhagen to thwart attempts at establishing legally binding targets for carbon emissions, in order to protect their economic growth. By UK UK Climate Change secretary Ed Miliband accused China specifically of sinking an agreement, provoking a counter response from China that British politicians were engaging in a political scheme. Mark Lynas, who was attached to the Maldives delegation, accused China of "sabotaging" the talks and ensuring that Barack Obama would publicly shoulder the blame. By India Indian journalist Praful Bidwai puts the blame on both developed and a few developing countries such as India, arguing that the "Copenhagen Accord is an illegitimate, ill-conceived, collusive deal between a handful of countries that are some of the world’s greatest present and future emitters."

• •

• •

Water Pollution Control - A Guide to the Use of Water Quality Management Principles CASE STUDY - “The Ganga, India” By Y.SHARMA

• The Ganges is a river in India which historically has been of high religious and cultural significance and in modern times has been known for being much polluted. An estimated 2,000,000 people ritually bathe daily in the river, which is considered holy by the Hindus. • The Ganga Action Plan (GAP) was launched by the Government of India in the year 1985 with the objective of abatement of pollution in the River Ganges due to discharge of sewage into the river from point as well as non-point sources. The Plan was renamed the National River Conservation Plan (NRCP) in the year 1995 and was broad-based to tackle pollution levels in other identified polluted stretches of major rivers, for improving their water quality to the bathing quality standards

• Exploitation • The principal sources of pollution of the Ganga River can be characterised as follows: • Domestic and industrial wastes. It has been estimated that about 1.4 × 106 m3 d-1 of domestic wastewater and 0.26 × 106 m3 d-1 of industrial sewage are going into the river. • Solid garbage thrown directly into the river. • Non-point sources of pollution from agricultural run-off containing residues of harmful pesticides and fertilizers. • Animal carcasses and half-burned and unburned human corpses thrown into the river. • Defecation on the banks by the low-income people. • Mass bathing and ritualistic practices.

The Action Plan
• • • • • • • • • • • • • It was realised that comprehensive co-ordinated research would have to be conducted on the following aspects of Ganga: The sources and nature of the pollution. A more rational plan for the use of the resources of the Ganga for agriculture, animal husbandry, fisheries, forests, etc. The demographic, cultural and human settlements on the banks of the river. The possible revival of the inland water transport facilities of the Ganga, together with the tributaries and distributaries. The GAP was only the first step in river water quality management. The studies had revealed that: 75 per cent of the pollution load was from untreated municipal sewage. 88 per cent of the municipal sewage was from the 25 Class I towns on the main river. Only a few of these cities had sewage treatment facilities (these were very inadequate and were often not functional). All the industries accounted for only 25 per cent of the total pollution (in some areas, such as Calcutta and Kanpur, the industrial waste was very toxic and hard to treat).

The strategies
• A total of 261 sub-projects were sought for implementation

• • • •

Industrial waste Integrated improvements of urban environments Public Participation Technology option

• Operation and maintenance • • Implementation problems • River Water Quality Management

Conclusions and lesson learned
• • The GAP is a successful example of timely action due to environmental awareness at the governmental level. Even more than this, it exhibits the achievement potential which is attainable by "political will". It is a model which is constantly being upgraded and improved in other river pollution prevention projects. Nevertheless, some very important lessons have been learned which are being incorporated into further projects. These include lessons learned about poor resource recovery due to poor resource generation, because of the lower organic content of Indian sewage. The most important lesson learned was the need for control of pathogenic contamination in treated effluent. This could not be tackled before because of a lack of safe and suitable technology but is now being attempted through research and by developing a suitable indigenous technology, which should not impart traces of any harmful residues in the treated effluent detrimental to the aquatic life.