Pachauri invokes Gandhi to drive his point on Climate Change



Pachauri invokes Gandhi to drive his point on Climate Change 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 public.

"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 "failed states".

"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.

Bureau Report