Technology Driven Climate Mechanism: Securing Climate Justice

Technology Driven Climate Mechanism: Securing Climate Justice

Question : Technology driven climate mechanism could address issues such as efficiency and equity simultaneously. Discuss in the context of the concept of “climate justice” as against merely combating climate change.

- Climate change is an international crisis which needs a collective solution

- Issues relating to justice, fairness and equity are of imperative importance

- Provisions of equity have been considered in the UNFCCC in form of common but differentiated responsibilities and differentiated commitments

- Kyoto protocol also assigns importance to equity considerations such as adaptation fund creation from proceeds of CDM activities

- Climate justice refers to equitable/fair allocation of climate benefits as well as burdens across nations

Equity principles discussed include the following:

Egalitarian principle: parity principle or per capita

Sovereignty principle: proportionality principle/per country

Polluter pays principle: current as against historic responsibility

Ability to pay principle: comparative burden principle

Principle of future development preservation opportunities

- Consideration of adjustment accounts while allocating for emissions

- Current distribution of emissions as well as energy use is highly inequitable in the world

There is variance in countries in terms of the following:

- Contribution(historical and current) to the crisis

- Vulnerability and localised impact

- Cost of adaptation and mitigation creating a multifaceted , subjective situation

- Elements defining the concept of equity in climate policy are intricate

- Further, there is a debate between equity and efficiency

- Current climate change regime is associated with emission reduction targets approach through major use of carbon pricing mechanisms

- Carbon markets under UNFCCC have been loaded with expectations pertaining to sustainable development, technology, finance transfer and cost effective GHG abatement

- This approach has met with only some success

- Moreover, research shows substantial emissions reduction by developed world adopting a reductions approach will not attain ample carbon space for developing nations to claim entitlements of atmospheric commons as per carbon budget and Greenhouse Development Rights (GDR) models

- New climate regime is proposed focusing on low carbon technology revolution

- A new approach that focuses on low carbon technology innovation and diffusion with the aim to ensure carbon space enlargement instead of re-allocation/re-distribution in the diminishing international carbon space

- Principle of equity could operate with a focus on new technology led climate mechanism in priority sectors

- Contributions to and benefits from institutions could be proportional to GDP, per capital emissions,future development needs of individual nations

- On the context of equity proposals, besides the principle of preserving future development rights, other theories lead to negative results for both the developed and the developing world

- Converging equity with technology is the way out

- Though the carbon markets were launched to lead to technological process, studies show markets could prove effective in technology diffusion or getting technology out of circulation plus abatement technologies on board

Some indicators used to evaluate effectiveness of climate regime include the following:

- Cost effectiveness

- Environmental impact

- Innovation

- Institutional resilience

- Participation and political acceptability

- New climate framework integrates technology strategy with equity and efficiency criteria and numerous mitigation mechanisms

- Fast paced climate technology and its rapid diffusion in developing countries is important

Facts and Stats

- Countries in 1992 have joined an international treaty, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to consider what could be done to limit average global temperature rise and consequent climate change

- By the year 1995, it was realised emission reduction provisions in convention were not adequate

- Two years later, the Kyoto Protocol was adopted as it legally binds developed nations to emission reduction targets

- There are 195 parties to the convention and 192 parties to the Kyoto Protocol

- At the heart of the climate change and climate justice concern is the need to reduce global temperature to limit below 2 degree celsius
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