The impasse in the climate negotiations runs very deep, and is ultimately rooted in the nature and limits of the current development model. That said, there is a great deal that could be done to build momentum and prepare for the global emergency mobilisation that is needed. Up to this point, however, con!icts and tensions between the ‘North’ and the

Kerala govt's ban on endosulfan prevails. State pays monthly pension of Rs 2,000 to those who are bedridden & Rs 1,000 to those with ailments, disability

I want to tell you today a true story of extraordinary courage, not of one, but of many. This past fortnight I was in Kasargod, a district in Kerala, splendid in beauty and natural resources, but destroyed by one toxic chemical: endosulfan. The pesticide was aerially sprayed over cashew plantations for 20 years, in complete disregard for the fact that there is no demarcation between where plantations end and habitation begins.

For two decades, the club of rich nations has failed to reduce carbon emissions in a meaningful way. It did not grant emerging markets the atmospheric space they need to develop, and has begun to blame them for slow progress in the multilateral arena instead.

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The traditional water harvesting system that existed decades ago in various Indian states is as relevant today as it was then and perhaps even more. Present day India is no stranger to nature’s fury like floods, drought, famine and hurricanes, and it would be well to learn from the old but true wisdom of traditional customs of water harvesting. There is also need to provide qualitative and quantitative irrigation to various agriculture fields to enhance the production of food grains and improve the livelihood of people in India.

Climate change is not a problem of present deeds but of past contributions. The world has run out of atmospheric space - and time. Will the rich, who contributed to emissions in the past and still take up an unfair share of this space, reduce emissions? Or will emerging countries be told to take over the burden? Sunita Narain throws light on this big question, in the light of the recently concluded climate change conference in Durban.

Indians know little about the water they use and the waste they discharge

Water is life, and sewage tells its life story. This is the subject of the “Citizens’ Seventh Report on the State of India’s Environment”, Excreta Matters: How urban India is soaking up water, polluting rivers and drowning in its own excreta. It has a seemingly simple plot: it only asks where Indian cities get their water from and where their waste goes. But this is not just a question or answer about water, pollution and waste.

The lesson for India after Durban is that it needs to formulate an approach that combines attention to industrialised countries’ historical responsibility for the problem with an embrace of its own responsibility to explore low carbon development trajectories. This is both ethically defensible and strategically wise. Ironically, India’s own domestic national approach of actively exploring “co-benefits” – policies that promote development while also yielding climate gains – suggests that it does take climate science seriously and has embraced responsibility as duty.

Water is recognized as an important resource without which life in earth cannot exist. According to ancient Indian texts, water is one among the basic five elements called ‘Pancabhutas’ with which the universe, the cosmic world comprises of; earth, light/heat, air and ether/space being the other four elements. Ancient people depended more on agriculture


India’s approach to climate change has shifted dramatically in the span of a few years. Not only has India developed a comprehensive climate change program domestically, it has adopted a new stance in the international negotiations that has earned it the reputation of being a ‘deal maker’.