In Cancun, India was hailed for helping to bridge differences between rich and poor countries. But at COP 17, India’s stance on not agreeing to a mandate for a new legally binding treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol and the Bali Action Plan drew strong criticism, with some arguing that India’s insistence on its ‘right to development’ was a betrayal of poorer countries and even a threat to their survival.
The common wisdom is that we’ve come here to save Africa. Africa, we hear every day, is a continent populated with poor people on the front lines of climate change, where immediate adaptation is a priority and climate delay means death. India, we hear, is the grim reaper. And the purpose of COP 17 is, in large part, to compel India to step back from the brink and help save Africa. India should stop being an obstructionist and come to the rescue of Africa.
Well… some comparisons are in order.