Resolution on Environmental Protection and People-centric Development

22. The tourism industry is resulting in unsustainable burdens on the ecosystem, unregulated constructions that block animal corridors, and even exploitation of the tribal people in some remote forest areas. Instead of recklessly promoting an unregulated tourism industry, the Indian Government must introduce a ‘no carbon footprints’ tourism policy and strictly uphold it.

On Climate Change and Water Scarcity

23. Global warming and climate change resulting from greenhouse gas emissions have already assumed alarming proportions, with concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere being way beyond the safe limits demarcated by scientists, and continuously increasing. While there is a crying need to address this issue globally in a holistic manner, any possible solution has routinely been stymied by the arrogance and bullying tactics of imperialist forces led by the US.

24. The poor and developing countries of the world have always maintained that different countries should have differentiated responsibilities towards tacking the problem of climate change based on (a) the historic or accumulated contribution of different countries in generating greenhouse gas emissions and (b) current per capita emissions. Historically, it is the heavily industrialised, super-rich ‘developed’ nations which have been responsible for greenhouse gas emissions. The US for instance is responsible for 25% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the world. The per capita emissions in the US are also by far the highest in the world : 20.1 tonnes of CO2 – compared to India’s 0.9 tonnes, and China’s 2.3 tonnes per person per year. Therefore, the US should have the greatest responsibility of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

25. By contrast, the US has always demanded that developing economies with huge populations like India and China should also submit to legally binding emission reductions, even if their per capita emissions are no way comparable. India and China have finally capitulated to this bullying: according to the dubious deal reached at the Durban Climate Change conference (November-December 2011), global climate change negotiations will not be based on the question of equity any more. We find this unacceptable and demand of the Government of India to continue the fight for a just and effective policy framework in tackling climate change. It is particularly necessary to ensure that the issue of climate change does not become yet another mechanism for the rich corporations (suppliers of techniques and instruments of pollution control for example) and nations to make more profits at the expense of poorer nations, that poor and developing countries receive adequate global funds for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and that these funds are efficiently used.

26. We must oppose population control policies being promoted by imperialist institutions like the World Bank, UNFPA, DFID etc in the name of tackling climate change and environmental degradation, and which are being implemented by the Indian State, in the form of forced sterilsation, and the dumping and testing of dangerous contraceptives. Population control is another way of shifting the blame for the destruction of the environment by corporate onto the poor, who are bearing the brunt of its effects. We must also resist increasing attempts to promote such coercive policies in the name of women’s reproductive rights, and instead demand genuine reproductive choices for women in the form of free access to safe contraceptives, within a framework of comprehensive health services.

27. It is the poor who bears the brunt of climate change – whether from the unpredictable monsoon patterns, the growing reduction in water availability in our snow- and monsoon-fed rivers, or from the diseases like malaria and dengue whose prevalence is linked to climate change.