New York: Noted environmentalist R K
Pachauri invoked Mahatma Gandhi`s idea of making non-violence
into a grassroots movement to drive home his point that
countries should create awareness among the public about the
ill-effects of Climate Change to fight the menace.
Participating in a Panel Discussion `Copenhagen, India
and United States: From Conflict to Cooperation` at the
Columbia University yesterday, Pachauri said Gandhi recognised
the need for conservation and preservation way before the
danger of Climate Change had preoccupied the world.
"He was a visionary who I think was the original
environmentalist. He was the original thinker who clearly
understood the reality of misuse, overuse and abuse of the
global commons," he said.
Recalling that Gandhi made his idea of non-violence
into a grassroots movement, Pachauri stressed the importance
of making the Climate Change cause more widespread in the
"As responsible citizens both as individuals and as
members of nation states we have to find means by which we are
able to share the task and responsibilities for correcting the
situation," said Pachuari, chief of Nobel Peace Prize winning
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Pachauri appealed for urgent mitigation action and
said an unresolved climate problem would lead to a dozen
"If we continue on the path that is based on inaction
then clearly the impacts are going to be totally unbearable
and will certainly exceed out capacity to adapt," he said.
Underlining that the US will remain the key player in
the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, Pachauri said if the
US does not come up with something concrete then that`s really
going to have a "discouraging influence on every delegation."
Pachauri supported British Prime Minister Gordon
Brown`s proposal of 100 million dollar fund for developing
countries to cope with mitigation and adaptation. "I hope the
developing countries will pick up on that," he said.
Nobel Prize winning economist Thomas Schelling said
developing countries need to devise a plan to divide the
resources among themselves, and establish an institutional
body that would keep a watch on how this money was being used.
"I don`t see this subject receiving any kind of
attention," he said.
Schelling also emphasised that impact of Climate
Change would be felt by the developing countries while the US
and Europe would be able to cope better with its impact.
Renowned economist Professor Jagdish Bhagwati noted
that India`s greenhouse gas emissions were less than 5 percent
of the global total.
"Why is India in confrontation with the United States.
India is not a major emitter so why should the United States
worry so much about what India does or does not do?" he asked.