Wednesday, December 10, 2014

India Desires Pollution Levels to Increase

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China’s pollution woes are well-known. It is caused by China developing at a speed and scale unprecedented in history, which has produced widespread environmental degradation that Beijing have been slow to acknowledge.

Aside from vehicle exhaust – Beijing alone is reported to have 5 million cars choking the streets (, February 12, 2013) – thermal energy plants utilizing the nation’s poor grade coal power the country's factories – what’s more, they are more usually heavily polluting factories as well – and providing the heat for hundreds of millions of homes even as they belch toxins into the atmosphere.
And that is not all. In April 2014, the Chinese government reported 16.1 percent of the country’s soil was polluted, including 19.4 percent of farmland. The report, issued by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Ministry of Land Resources was based on a study done from April 2005 to December 2013 on more than 240 square miles of land across mainland China, according to Xinhua, the state news agency.
Like air pollution, this raises questions about the toxic results of China’s rapid industrialization, its lack of regulations over commercial interests and the consequences for the national food chain.
Yet, India has indicated that it wants to emulate China. The country said its pollution levels will need to increase in the years ahead to support its economic development.
In fact, it has already sounded out that it won’t discuss limiting greenhouse-gas emissions at UN climate talks that began in Lima, Peru this week.
For your information, India’s emissions are the third-highest in the world – surpassed only by USA and China.
In any case, India is adamant that it won’t buckle under pressure from other countries on its environmental goals, particularly after both USA and China jointly agreed on November 12, 2014 to rein in fossil fuel emissions. It was the first time a big developing country (i.e. China) said it would take on a mandatory limit on pollution.
The twentieth edition of the Conference of the Parties (COP 20) to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the tenth edition of the Meeting of the Parties (CMP 10) to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol – taking place from December 01 to 12, 2014 – is in session now.

The overarching goal of the conference is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) to limit the global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius above current levels. It is not as simple as it sounds because the politics can make the talks become convoluted and complex.
We can only hope for the best. Whether countries can produce an agreement or not, the fact of the matter is that the global warming phenomenon is already here.
On Monday, I was at the See Hoy Chan’s office in Petaling Jaya’s Uptown 5 to attend the Phoenix Toastmasters meeting. I was an Evaluator for an Advanced speech and again, I had to be forthright when giving my feedback because the speech successfully managed to unhinge me. The meeting also started six minutes late and therefore, the meeting score was only 3.5 over 10.


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