ndia will spare no effort in contributing tothe success of the post-Copenhagenprocess, assured Dr Manmohan Singh,the Prime Minister of India, in hisinaugural address delivered earlier this year at the 10thDelhi Sustainable Development Summit.This Summit takes place at an important juncture inthe international deliberations aimed at forging amultilateral understanding on how to deal with climatechange. Moving forward, we need to reflect on thelessons of what happened at Copenhagen.I share the disappointment of many with the limitedachievements of the discussions that took place atCopenhagen. At the same time it is important toensure that we can deliver what we promise to do. Anambitious agreement that is observed only in thebreach will discredit the whole process. TheCopenhagen Accord, which we fully support and willtake forward, is a catalogue of voluntarycommitments and not a negotiated set of legalobligations. Presumably, the countries that havemade the commitments willingly have assuredthemselves that they can be and will be fulfilled. Amodest accord that is fully implemented may bebetter than an ambitious one that falls seriously shortof its targets. This is the lesson that was learnt withregard to the Kyoto Protocol.Secondly, the United Nations Framework Conventionon Climate Change (UNFCCC) has to be thecenterpiece of global cooperation on climate issues.The purpose of the Copenhagen Accord is to contributeto the negotiations on the Kyoto Protocol and on LongTerm Co-operation. It is not a substitute but acomplement to these core international agreements.There is much in the Copenhagen Accord that can bringconsensus on the two-track negotiating process. Forthis to happen, this process itself has to recommencein right earnest, perhaps from March this year. Thirdly, a successful international agreement willrequire a consensus in two crucial areas. The first is onthe science of climate change. The second is theethical framework for giving expression to the centralUNFCCC principle of "common but differentiatedresponsibility". Some aspects of the science that is reflected in thework of the IPCC have faced criticism. But this debatedoes not challenge the core projections of the IPCCabout the impact of greenhouse gas accumulations ontemperature, rainfall and sea level rise. Let me hereassert that India has full confidence in the IPCCprocess and its leadership and will support it in everyway that it can. One of the Missions under our National Action Plan ison Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change to promotehigh quality and focused research on various aspectsof climate change. We have established an Indian Network forComprehensive Climate Change Assessment, anetwork of over 120 research institutes, which willbring out regular reports on the impacts of climatechange on different sectors and different regions of the country. The first such assessment will be releasedin November this year. We seek internationalcollaboration to make this network effective. We are also establishing a National Institute ofHimalayan Glaciology in Dehra Dun and we lookforward to international cooperation in this vital area.However, even in the absence of unanimity of scientificAbove:Indian prime ministerDr Manmohan SinghMain Picture: Our fragile ecosystem isunder threat as wecontinue to live on "anoverdraft on nature'sresources"A CALL FOR A BALANCEDAND EQUITABLE OUTCOME IN MEXICO110PRE-MEXICO REVIEWDR MANMOHAN SINGH, PRIME MINISTER OF INDIAIPhotos: UN Photo/Mark Garten; UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe; (next page) Courtesy of Global Water Partnership/Ernie Peñaredondo?
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