Climate Change Justice

                Climate justice is generally used as a term for viewing climate change as an ethical issue and considering how its causes and effects relate to concepts of justice, particularlyenvironmental justice and social justice. This can mean examining issues such as equality, human rights, collective rights and historical responsibility in relation to climate change. Recognizing and addressing the fact that those least responsible for climate change experience its greatest impacts is seen by many as being central to climate justice. The term is also used with reference to legal systems, where justice is achieved through application and development of law in the area of climate change

In an ever-progressing world with an increasing demand for energy, it is difficult to avoid climate change and its impacts on societies both locally and globally. Climate change affects social development factors, such as, poverty, infrastructure, technology, security, and economics across the globe. Although climate change affects everything we see around us, the interrelation between climate change and social vulnerability and inequality is particularly evident in impoverished communities. In particular, impoverished communities experience reductions in safe drinking water as well as food security as a result of climate change (OECD 2013). These typically rural, isolated communities do not exhibit sufficient financial and technical capacities to manage the risks associated with climate change (climate risk).

  1.                Clean Development Mechanism
  • Climate Change – CDM projects

The CDM allows emission-reduction projects in developing countries to earn certified emission reduction (CER) credits, each equivalent to one tonne of CO2. These CERs can be traded and sold, and used by industrialized countries to a meet a part of their emission reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol.

CDM projects are implemented globally under Kyoto Protocol to reduce GHG emissions and Global warming by UNFCCC. India is a second largest CDM projects host country. But it is necessary to scan CDM projects as it should not only mean for money exchange CDM is a market based mechanism under Kyoto Protocol which allows trading of carbon as commodity. Developing country can reduce their GHG emissions and earn CER which can be traded to developed countries.

  • CDM – Paryavaran Mitra’s observations

Paryavaran Mitra is closely observing the CDM policy and projects in India since 2006. Our research has led us to the following conclusions:

  • The Ministry of Environment & Forest is the nodal agency (Designated National Authority) for CDM projects in India. For any CDM project introduced in India, NOC from SPCB and the permission of the MoEF is required. We have concluded that these have been reduced to mere formalities and paperwork instead of them acting as regulating bodies for CDM Projects.
  • The Indian government acts as a promoter of CDM projects rather than monitoring and evaluating these projects. Till date, not a single proposal has been rejected by the Government, even if global companies believe that such a project is not worth Carbon Credits!
  • In some cases, a CDM project is in operation while in same campus some other operation causes greater pollution; this defeats the greater objective of Kyoto- saving the Environment.
  • In almost all such CDM projects, prior to its implementation the local communities have been victims of pollution from these industries especially due to GHG emissions. So after implementation of CDM project, industry earns money by selling CER immediately but community is forced to live in polluted environment for years. Ethically, CDM projects should share their revenue for the community’s welfare.
  • Often, there is no appropriate public consultation about such CDM projects; the public is unaware of their implications. While EPH is mandatory for all other industrial setups, the MoEF is silent about making any Public Hearings for these projects – creating double standards through the law. It seems obvious then that MNCs shall opt for CDM Projects in order to do away with Environmental procedure – what remains the largest hindrance for their unchecked proliferation.
  • Issues related to taxation of CDM revenue are not answered by government authorities yet.
  • Current problems of CDM
  • Lack of transparency (only between Government ,companies and International bodies)
  • Cheap option for developed countries to buy carbon credits
  • No transformational effects
  • Community impacts (positive or negative) not evaluated.
  • No monitoring at national and state government level
  • How should mechanism be reformed?As the CDM process shall expire in 2012, what should be the future options available?

Paryavaran Mitra time to time intervenes in proposed CDM project, either at local level public consultation stage or at validation stage. We organizes trainings/seminars for local people, industries and any other audience who wish to know details of CDM projects and participate in seminars/trainings and meetings related to CDM policy dialogues. Some of them are mentioned below

2.            Climate Change Lecture Series

Climate Change Lecture Series was initiated by Paryavaran Mitra in November 2008 on every second and forth Saturday per month. After March 2010 it was decided to arrange only one lecture per month. Total 58 lectures were delivered by various experts on variety of subjects related to climate change till April 2012. Our goal is to create awareness.

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