Sunday, 13 December 2015

Filled Under:

14/12/2015

prepared by ashok sharma

The Hindu: December 14, 2015 00:18 IST

Hope on climate & a long road ahead





The Paris Agreement on climate change marks a milestone in preserving the earth's environment and provides a floor on which to build ambition and action. It is the outcome of a long struggle by millions of citizens around the world, aided by the weight of scientific evidence linking severe, more frequent weather events such as cyclones and droughts to man-made greenhouse gas emissions. The 195 country-parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change — besides Palestine which joined in Paris — have acknowledged that global climate action can no longer be postponed. While their adoption of the Agreement has created history, the sum total of national pledges by 189 nations will be unable to stop climate change that is already happening. As the UNFCCC acknowledges, these pledges will not be able to keep temperature "well below 2 degrees C" compared to pre-industrial levels, leave alone the aspirational target of a 1.5° C limit. It is also important to remember that there is a long window before the promises on emissions cuts go into effect in 2020, a period during which developed nations would continue to emit large volumes of greenhouse gases. Given such a background and its responsibility as a legacy polluter, the richer half of the world, which secured the support of vulnerable and poor nations in Paris, must use the Agreement to liberally share its prosperity and technology. It would be perverse if the climate pact is viewed as a business opportunity to fuel a wave of growth for a few.



The signal from Paris is clearly for a shift away from polluting fossil fuels such as coal and oil to renewable energy, and the adoption of smart policies and innovative technology. Like all other countries, India is now required to periodically report on its targets and performance under the Agreement, and update its Nationally Determined Contributions by 2020. This will need the active involvement of all States and wide consultations — more so for the 175 gigawatt renewables revolution, including 100 GW from solar, to meet the 2022 target. The Centre should consider enacting a strong climate change law that harmonises policies nationally, beginning with energy, buildings, transport, water, agriculture and urban development. The question of adaptation to climate change and addressing loss and damage looms large for India, given the regular cycles of crippling droughts, devastating flooding and lost livelihoods. There is not much to look forward to here in the Agreement, which speaks of raising finance with $100 billion a year base by 2020, an amount that is grossly inadequate for the scale of catastrophic events witnessed worldwide. The hope is that the Paris Agreement will, as a binding covenant, spur civil society to raise the pressure on leaders to improve upon it every year, adding clear commitments for the developed nations to cut their emissions in favour of the developing countries and raise financing significantly

 

per·verse

(of a person or their actions) showing a deliberate and obstinate desire to behave in a way that is unreasonable or unacceptable, often in spite of the consequences.

 

en·act

Make (a bill or other proposal) law.

 

loom

An apparatus for making fabric by weaving yarn or thread.

 

cat·a·stroph·ic

Involving or causing sudden great damage or suffering.

 

cov·e·nant

An agreement.

 

spur

A device with a small spike or a spiked wheel that is worn on a rider's heel and used for urging a horse forward.

 

The Hindu: December 14, 2015 00:18 IST

Setback for Venezuela's socialists



The socialists of Venezuela, first led by the late President Hugo Chávez and then by President Nicolás Maduro, have had a near-total hegemony over power for the past 17 years. But the results of the parliamentary elections held on December 6, in which the centre-right opposition secured a 'supermajority' with 112 seats out of the total 167, demonstrate that the socialist narrative which Chávez painstakingly built over the ruins of West-backed dictatorships and the failures of free-market capitalism has started losing its grip over the Venezuelan voters. Though an opposition victory was expected, their performance was better than even the most optimistic forecasts. With a two-thirds majority in the legislature, the opposition now has the strength to remove Supreme Court justices, pass laws and even draft a new Constitution, a move that could end Mr. Maduro's presidential tenure. What has led to such a huge defeat of the socialists? The Venezuelan election comes close on the heels of the defeat of the leftist candidate, Daniel Scioli, in the Argentine presidential election. But it would be premature to see these two elections as part of a larger trend in South America of the resurgence of the Right. Rather, what the Argentine and Venezuelan stories tell is that the Left parties in these countries are paying a political price for the troubles in the economy.



In Venezuela, the socialists draw legitimacy and support from the government's pro-poor welfare policies. Chávez's redistributive policies had lifted millions out of poverty and boosted real income, helping the ruling party establish itself among the vast majority of the country's poor. But this programme, largely funded by oil revenues, came under enormous strain when crude prices tumbled — compared to $115 a barrel in June 2014, it is now less than $40 a barrel — in the global market. Chávez's original plan was to diversify the economy. But he did not face any imminent economic threat as oil prices were relatively high during his tenure. Mr. Maduro's administration, which blamed the opposition for the economic worries of the country, however, failed to devise an alternative plan to let the 'Bolivarian revolution' stay afloat. Other economic and structural problems, such as high inflation, shortage of essential goods and poor infrastructure made matters more difficult for him. More important, Mr. Maduro lacks the political sharpness and charisma of Chávez, who, despite his combative style of politics, remained a highly popular father figure of the nation during his term. He was also a unifying force within the Socialist Party where growing rifts are now challenging Mr. Maduro's authority. The election result is a wake-up call for the socialists. It is undisputed that the system that Chávez built has benefited millions of Venezuelans. But Mr. Maduro and his team need to refocus their energy on strengthening it, rather than simply blaming the opposition for every challenge they face.

The Hindu: December 14, 2015 00:18 IST

Setback for Venezuela's socialists



The socialists of Venezuela, first led by the late President Hugo Chávez and then by President Nicolás Maduro, have had a near-total hegemony over power for the past 17 years. But the results of the parliamentary elections held on December 6, in which the centre-right opposition secured a 'supermajority' with 112 seats out of the total 167, demonstrate that the socialist narrative which Chávez painstakingly built over the ruins of West-backed dictatorships and the failures of free-market capitalism has started losing its grip over the Venezuelan voters. Though an opposition victory was expected, their performance was better than even the most optimistic forecasts. With a two-thirds majority in the legislature, the opposition now has the strength to remove Supreme Court justices, pass laws and even draft a new Constitution, a move that could end Mr. Maduro's presidential tenure. What has led to such a huge defeat of the socialists? The Venezuelan election comes close on the heels of the defeat of the leftist candidate, Daniel Scioli, in the Argentine presidential election. But it would be premature to see these two elections as part of a larger trend in South America of the resurgence of the Right. Rather, what the Argentine and Venezuelan stories tell is that the Left parties in these countries are paying a political price for the troubles in the economy.



In Venezuela, the socialists draw legitimacy and support from the government's pro-poor welfare policies. Chávez's redistributive policies had lifted millions out of poverty and boosted real income, helping the ruling party establish itself among the vast majority of the country's poor. But this programme, largely funded by oil revenues, came under enormous strain when crude prices tumbled — compared to $115 a barrel in June 2014, it is now less than $40 a barrel — in the global market. Chávez's original plan was to diversify the economy. But he did not face any imminent economic threat as oil prices were relatively high during his tenure. Mr. Maduro's administration, which blamed the opposition for the economic worries of the country, however, failed to devise an alternative plan to let the 'Bolivarian revolution' stay afloat. Other economic and structural problems, such as high inflation, shortage of essential goods and poor infrastructure made matters more difficult for him. More important, Mr. Maduro lacks the political sharpness and charisma of Chávez, who, despite his combative style of politics, remained a highly popular father figure of the nation during his term. He was also a unifying force within the Socialist Party where growing rifts are now challenging Mr. Maduro's authority. The election result is a wake-up call for the socialists. It is undisputed that the system that Chávez built has benefited millions of Venezuelans. But Mr. Maduro and his team need to refocus their energy on strengthening it, rather than simply blaming the opposition for every challenge they face.

 

set·back

A reversal or check in progress.

 

he·gem·o·ny

Leadership or dominance, especially by one country or social group over others.

 

painstakingly

In a fastidious and painstaking manner; "it is almost a waste of time painstakingly to learn the routines of selling"

 

ru·in

The physical destruction or disintegration of something or the state of disintegrating or being destroyed.

 

pre·ma·ture

Occurring or done before the usual or proper time; too early.

 

re·sur·gence

An increase or revival after a period of little activity, popularity, or occurrence.

 

legitimacy

Lawfulness by virtue of being authorized or in accordance with law

 

strain

Force (a part of one's body or oneself) to make a strenuous or unusually great effort.

 

tum·ble

(typically of a person) fall suddenly, clumsily, or headlong.

 

im·mi·nent

About to happen.

 

a·float

Floating in water; not sinking.

 

Business Standard

Bullet train hopes



The visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe resulted in a significant progression of the bilateral relationship. Japan has long been a notable investor in Indian infrastructure, and that tradition is being carried forward. Mr Abe reiterated Japan's $5 billion support for metro rail projects in Ahmedabad and Chennai, as overseas development assistance. A similar sum has also been long agreed for the Chennai-Bengaluru industrial corridor, and this too was re-emphasised. For India's infrastructure sector, this is likely to come as a significant relief.



Perhaps most attention, however, was focused on the signing of an agreement to fund the building of a high-speed rail (HSR) link between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. The railway - the Japanese call it "Shinkansen" - will have access to a soft Japanese loan of $12-15 billion at a concessional rate of interest, 0.1 per cent. Many have pointed out that this is the wrong priority for India's railways, which are still to meet the basic needs of passengers in most parts of the country. Regular inter-city travel is not yet as fast as it should be. A bullet train, certainly looks like Indian Railways is putting the cart before the horse. In defence of the train, however, it could be argued that the bulk of the funding is on soft terms; if the financial burden works out to be minimal, then, as a best case, the train could help integrate the relatively affluent western corridor as one large economic zone.



It is to be remembered that such trains compete mainly with air travel. What will the fares look like? Rather than in high-cost Japan, the best comparison will be with the Beijing-Shanghai superfast train - one of only three profitable HSR legs, of dozens worldwide - which costs 555 yuan for a distance of 1,318 kilometres. The yuan is Rs 10.40 at the moment; so the cost to passengers is Rs 4.40 a km. Assuming - a big assumption - that the cost per km is the same on the shorter (530 km) Mumbai-Ahmedabad run, the cheapest second-class ticket would be just over Rs 2,300. Air tickets on this leg are just over Rs 3,000; so if costs are kept down as has been assumed, the train would be competitive - as long as it took only an hour or so more than the flight, and departed from the city centres. Additionally, the train would serve Surat and Vadodara, and also intermediate stations like Anand, Bharuch and Valsad, which are poorly served by air. And if the line is successful, it could be extended later to Pune; the Mumbai end should thus be planned not as a terminus but a hub.



Other notable aspects of the agreements signed by Mr Abe and Prime Minister Narendra Modi include a memorandum of understanding on civil nuclear co-operation, and the "commitment to continue discussions" on defence matters. The nuclear deal is still not done and dusted; it can only be signed once Japanese domestic objections are overcome, and that is still some time away. No specific technological collaborations were announced; in fact, hopes that this summit would see substantially firmer news about the possible purchase by India of Japanese-made US-2 amphibious aircraft - which would be Japan's first weapons sale for half a century - were dashed

 

re·it·er·ate

Say something again or a number of times, typically for emphasis or clarity.

 

The expression cart before the horse is an idiom or proverb used to suggest something is done contrary to a conventional or culturally expected order or relationship. 

af·flu·ent

(especially of a group or area) having a great deal of money; wealthy.

 

dust

Remove the dust from the surface of (something) by wiping or brushing it.

 

am·phib·i·ous

Relating to, living in, or suited for both land and water.

 

dashed

Used for emphasis.

 

 

Indian Express

Reckless in Punjab



In Punjab, the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal's need to keep voters happy in the countdown to elections, after a two-term incumbency, is coming up against the harsh reality of the state's empty coffers. Broke after years of reckless spending, Punjab is struggling to pay salaries and pensions to government employees, but it cannot seem to break the habit. In recent days, the SAD government has wilfully ignored the parlous condition of the state's finances to make a series of announcements that added about Rs 850 crore to the annual expenditure in one fell swoop. These include over a lakh new jobs in government, doubling of pensions to senior citizens and widows and the introduction of a free pilgrimage scheme for Hindus and Sikhs. Last week, the government announced the setting up of the state's Sixth Pay Commission, although Punjab government employees are already the best paid in the country. The SAD also plans once again to resume the distribution of subsidised dal, the more expensive half of its atta-dal scheme, and therefore implemented in a start-stop manner since it was introduced.

Revenue collection has hardly kept up with the spending spree, and is well short of this year's 15 per cent target. Since 2013, a year after the SAD-BJP combine won a second term, the Punjab government has been mortgaging its public assets to raise money, including, most recently, a historical widows' home in Jalandhar and jails in Bathinda and Amritsar. The government's extravagance makes no economic sense, especially when, at the same time, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal writes to the prime minister asking for a loan waiver to the state's farmers, lamenting that the country's main food grower has been reduced to a "beggar".

The state has, meanwhile, paid scant attention to the need to take meaningful steps to improve the economy. Punjab's annual average growth in 2014-15 fell to an estimated 5.35 per cent from a high of 10.18 per cent in 2006-07. Almost all sectors, including agriculture, the mainstay of the state's economy, and the manufacturing industry, are in decline. But the government, despite the opportunity of two successive terms in office, has not shown any inclination to make the required policy changes. There has been virtually no job creation. The high unemployment rates — 7.7 per cent among rural youth and 6.3 per cent among urban youth — have only added to the discontent of farm distress, creating a situation that radical Sikh organisations are trying to exploit. The government that comes in after the next election will face an empty treasury. Political parties must instantly start chalking up a clear plan to restore Punjab's economic health, so that whoever is elected can get down to business without losing any time.

 

in·cum·ben·cy

The holding of an office or the period during which one is held.

 

cof·fer

A strongbox or small chest for holding valuables.

 

reck·less

(of a person or their actions) without thinking or caring about the consequences of an action.

 

par·lous

Full of danger or uncertainty; precarious.

 

swoop

(especially of a bird) move rapidly downward through the air.

 

spree

A spell or sustained period of unrestrained activity of a particular kind.

 

ex·trav·a·gance

Lack of restraint in spending money or use of resources.

 

la·ment

Mourn (a person's loss or death).

 

scant

Barely sufficient or adequate.

 

vir·tu·al·ly

Nearly; almost.

 

The Guardian

view on COP 21 climate talks: saving the planet in a fracturing world



In the late 20th century, those who stood against globalisation were charged with swimming against an unstoppable tide, caricatured as "Stop the world, I wanna get off!" But in the 21st century, history is running with the anti-globalisers. World trade talks have gone nowhere, immigration controls have shot up the agenda, and two post-national EU projects – the euro and Schengen – are under strain. Figures as diverse as Donald Trump, Nicola Sturgeon and Marine Le Pen – who failed to convert a remarkable first-round victory in French regional elections into any outright wins – are all peddling one form of nationalism or another. Rumours of the death of the nation state, then, have proved exaggerated: globalisation is spinning into reverse.



Looking back on the future as it appeared in the 1990s – as a technocratic, transnational order – a democratic push-back was surely inevitable, in some senses even desirable. But when problems from the overuse of antibiotics to terrorism refuse to respect national borders, the retreat from the dream of global governance has some frightening consequences, especially in connection with climate change, the archetypal global problem. Saving the planet in a fracturing world is a daunting challenge indeed.



The Paris COP 21 talks surpassed expectations in rising to it, demonstrating just how much can be achieved by determined diplomacy, even while working within the unbending red lines of jealously sovereign states. A formal treaty was precluded because it would hand a veto to the intransigent legislators of Capitol Hill, while also offending the sensibilities of Delhi and Beijing. Fortunately, it proved possible to work within the fudged alternative framework of a "legally binding instrument". Everyone offered up voluntary emission targets, and agreed, too, to a five-yearly review of these. While the targets on the table are not yet adequate to avoid the disaster of more than 2C of warming, the surprise inclusion of an aspiration to cap temperature rises at 1.5C signals a shared understanding that the targets will have to be tightened at each successive review. The destructive standoff between developing and developed countries that doomed Copenhagen six years ago has been transcended: the big developing economies, which now produce the bulk of emissions, are no longer pretending that they can delay doing anything until the rich world is perfectly green; at the same time the rich world is effectively accepting that it will have to help shoulder the "loss and damage" costs inflicted by the long legacy of western pollution.



This is, on the face of it, a rare and heartening case of disparate peoples being led to a common conclusion by evidence and reason, but serendipity played its part too. It happens, for example, that in 2015 there is a progressive US president who never has another election to win. It happens, too, that China is the midst of replacing filthy old power stations, which is already curbing its emissions growth, making it less painful than before for Beijing to engage. Indeed, the latest global CO2 data registers a striking levelling off, raising the tantalising possibility that technological progress could be entering a phase where the cast-iron link between emissions and growth begins to rust. If that pattern were borne out in future years, future climate negotiations could get smoother on every front. Then there is the great oil price crash, which facilitates a more fruitful discussion on fossil fuels, by making it much more imaginable to keep it in the ground.



One anxiety is whether this fortuitous alignment of political and economic stars will remain, as nations move from making promises, towards real action. Paris cannot guarantees success, but it does encourage hope – and particularly if Ms Le Pen's chauvinist form of nationalism can be seen off. The Front National dabbled in greenwash last year, but its insistence on an ecology defined by "patriotism and the national interest", and its instinctive suspicion of a multilateral UN approach is precisely the attitude which could thwart the translation of impressive COP 21 words into deeds.



Paris has given the world new hope in the possibilities of pragmatic diplomacy, at a time when France's own politics illustrate the difficulties of assuming solidarity extends beyond national borders. If the answer to climate change is going to have to be found in continuous haggling between 200 nations, then success is also going to depend on winning the argument against narrow nationalism in every corner of the world.



 

car·i·ca·ture

Make or give a comically or grotesquely exaggerated representation of (someone or something).

 

strain

Force (a part of one's body or oneself) to make a strenuous or unusually great effort.

 

out·right

Altogether; completely.

 

ped·dle

Try to sell (something, especially small goods) by going from house to house or place to place.

 

ex·ag·ger·ate

Represent (something) as being larger, greater, better, or worse than it really is.

 

re·treat

(of an army) withdraw from enemy forces as a result of their superior power or after a defeat.

 

ar·che·typ·al

Very typical of a certain kind of person or thing.

 

frac·ture

Break or cause to break.

 

daunt·ing

Seeming difficult to deal with in anticipation; intimidating.

 

sur·pass

Exceed; be greater than.

 

pre·clude

Prevent from happening; make impossible

 

in·tran·si·gent

Unwilling or refusing to change one's views or to agree about something.

 

fudge

Present or deal with (something) in a vague, noncommittal, or inadequate way, especially so as to conceal the truth or mislead

 

stand·off

A stalemate or deadlock between two equally matched opponents in a dispute or conflict.

 

doomed

Likely to have an unfortunate and inescapable outcome; ill-fated.

 

tran·scend

Be or go beyond the range or limits of (something abstract, typically a conceptual field or division).

 

in·flict

Cause (something unpleasant or painful) to be suffered by someone or something.

 

ser·en·dip·i·ty

The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.

 

filth·y

Disgustingly dirty.

 

curb

Restrain or keep in check.

 

tan·ta·lize

Torment or tease (someone) with the sight or promise of something that is unobtainable.

 

fa·cil·i·tate

Make (an action or process) easy or easier

 

for·tu·i·tous

Happening by accident or chance rather than design.

 

chau·vin·ist

A person displaying aggressive or exaggerated patriotism.

 

thwart

Prevent (someone) from accomplishing something.

 

prag·mat·ic

Dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations.

 

sol·i·dar·i·ty

Unity or agreement of feeling or action, especially among individuals with a common interest; mutual support within a group.

 

hag·gle

Dispute or bargain persistently, especially over the cost of something.

 

 

Dawn

Cybercrime bill





THE government needs reminding that the only thing worse than the lack of a legislative framework covering an area of operations is a set of bad laws.



This seems to be the case regarding the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill 2015, finalised by the Senate's Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunications, a report on which was laid before parliament on Friday.



With the digital footprint expanding fast in Pakistan and the rapidly increasing use of information technology and the Internet by those who have access, certainly there is a need to develop laws to curb these tools being used in problematic fashions.



Take a look: New cybercrime bill tough on individuals' rights, soft on crime



These include a range of activities, from support provided by technology and the online world to heinous crimes such as militancy and terrorism, to practices more pedestrian but almost equally devastating on the level of the individual such as cyber-stalking, fraud and data theft. But is the PECB in its current iteration the best way forward?



Amongst industry representatives and stakeholders, there seems to be near unanimous consensus that it is not. Legislators need to pay heed.



The problems with this bill in its current form appear to be numerous, some of which were articulated by PPP MNA Shazia Marri who submitted a dissenting note when the report was tabled in parliament.



Raising objections to certain definitions and asking for amendments, she added that some of the penalties for minor infringements are too harsh, such as imprisonment for up to two years for cyberstalking.



She also argued against Section 34 on the power to manage information systems, which she said gives the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority the power to block any website it deems is carrying 'objectionable' or 'offensive' content.



This is a serious concern, and readers will be all too aware of how in the past such loose definitions have been used to stifle dissent against the government of the day and to curb the freedom of expression. IT industry experts have also alleged that the draft bill is distorted in focus with a security-related mindset underpinning it.



Further, concern has been expressed that the proposed law fails to provide adequate security to Internet users while at the same time creating heavy penalties for crimes that can be committed unintentionally, such as sending a text message without the receiver's consent or criticising the actions of the government on the social media.



In short, there is enough to raise very serious doubts about the efficacy of this bill in its current form.



More attention needs to be paid to the critiques against it, with a view to carrying out further modification on the recommendations of experts.



This is a task for the legislators who must resist any attempt to rush it through into law. Right now, Pakistan is getting ready to formulate cybercrime laws; there is a dire need to get them right.

curb

A stone or concrete edging to a street or path.

 

hei·nous

(of a person or wrongful act, especially a crime) utterly odious or wicked.

 

pe·des·tri·an

A person walking along a road or in a developed area.

 

it·er·a·tion

The repetition of a process or utterance.

 

u·nan·i·mous

(of two or more people) fully in agreement.

 

heed

Pay attention to; take notice of.

 

ar·tic·u·lat·ed

Having two or more sections connected by a flexible joint.

 

dis·sent

Hold or express opinions that are at variance with those previously, commonly, or officially expressed.

 

cy·ber·stalk·ing

The repeated use of electronic communications to harass or frighten someone, for example by sending threatening e-mails.

 

sti·fle

Make (someone) unable to breathe properly; suffocate.

 

un·der·pin·ning

A solid foundation laid below ground level to support or strengthen a building.

 

ef·fi·ca·cy

The ability to produce a desired or intended result.

 

dire

(of a situation or event) extremely serious or urgent

 

 

Editorial With Hindi Vocab

 

The Guardian

view on COP 21 climate talks: saving the planet in a fracturing world



In the late 20th century, those who stood against globalisation were charged(प्रभारित) with swimming against an unstoppable( जिसे रोका जा सके) tide( प्रवाह), caricatured( हास्य चित्र) as "Stop the world, I wanna get off!( प्रस्थान करना)" But in the 21st century, history is running with the anti-globalisers. World trade talks have gone nowhere( कहीं नहीं कहीं नहीं), immigration(परदेश में जाकर रहना) controls have shot up the agenda, and two post-national EU projects – the euro and Schengen – are under strain(तनाव ). Figures as diverse(विविधतापूर्ण) as Donald Trump, Nicola Sturgeon and Marine Le Pen – who failed to convert a remarkable first-round victory in French regional elections into any outright( स्पष्ट) wins – are all peddling( फ़ेरी लगाना) one form of nationalism or another. Rumours( अफवाह) of the death of the nation state, then, have proved exaggerated( अतिशयोक्तिपूर्ण
): globalization(वैश्वीकरण) is spinning into reverse( उलटा).



Looking back on the future as it appeared in the 1990s – as a technocratic(तकनीकज्ञ), transnational(अंतरराष्ट्रीय) order – a democratic push-back was surely inevitable( जो टल सके), in some senses even(निसंदेह रूप से) desirable( इच्छा करने योग्य). But when problems from the overuse of antibiotics to terrorism refuse to respect national borders, the retreat( युद्ध से सेना हटा लेने का संकेत) from the dream of global governance has some frightening(भयावह) consequences(नतीजा ), especially in connection with climate change, the archetypal( आद्यप्ररूपीय) global problem. Saving the planet in a fracturing(अंगभंग) world is a daunting(चुनौतीपूर्ण) challenge indeed(निश्चित ही).



The Paris COP 21 talks surpassed(से बेहतर परिणाम देना) expectations in rising to it, demonstrating just how much can be achieved by determined( स्थिर) diplomacy( व्यवहार कौशल), even while working within the unbending(  झुकने वाला) red lines of jealously sovereign( सर्वश्रेष्ठ) states. A formal( औपचारिक) treaty( संधि) was precluded ( नामुमकिन करना ) because it would hand a veto( प्रतिबंध ) to the intransigent(कट्टर) legislators( कानून निर्माता) of Capitol Hill, while also offending (उल्लंघन करने वाला )the sensibilities( भावुकता) of Delhi and Beijing. Fortunately, it proved possible to work within the fudged ( निरर्थक बात ) alternative framework of a "legally binding instrument". Everyone offered up voluntary( ऐच्छिक) emission( उत्सर्जन) targets, and agreed, too, to a five-yearly review of these. While the targets on the table are not yet adequate(काफी) to avoid the disaster of more than 2C of warming, the surprise inclusion of an aspiration(आकांक्षा) to cap temperature rises at 1.5C signals a shared understanding that the targets will have to be tightened(कड़ा करना) at each successive( एक के बाद एक आने वाला) review. The destructive( घातक) standoff( ड्रॉ) between developing and developed countries that doomed(बरबाद होना) Copenhagen six years ago has been transcended( श्रेष्ठ होना): the big developing economies, which now produce the bulk( ढेर  ढेर) of emissions, are no longer pretending that they can delay doing anything until the rich world is perfectly green; at the same time the rich world is effectively accepting that it will have to help shoulder the "loss and damage" costs inflicted( पहुँचाना) by the long legacy of western pollution.



This is, on the face of it, a rare ( दुर्लभ ) and heartening(प्रशंसा करना) case of disparate( असमान) peoples being led to a common conclusion by evidence and reason, but serendipity(आकस्मिक लाभ) played its part too. It happens, for example, that in 2015 there is a progressive US president who never has another election to win. It happens, too, that China is the midst of replacing filthy(बहुत ही खराब) old power stations, which is already curbing(रोकने) its emissions growth, making it less painful than before for Beijing to engage. Indeed, the latest global CO2 data registers a striking levelling off, raising the tantalizing( ललचाने वाला) possibility that technological progress could be entering a phase where the cast-iron link between emissions and growth begins to rust( जंग लगना). If that pattern were borne( जन्म दिया) out in future years, future climate negotiations( व्यवहार ) could get smoother on every front. Then there is the great oil price crash, which facilitates(सरल बनाना) a more fruitful discussion on fossil fuels, by making it much more imaginable to keep it in the ground.



One anxiety( बेताबी) is whether this fortuitous( आकस्मिक) alignment( एकत्रीकरण ) of political and economic stars will remain, as nations move from making promises, towards real action. Paris cannot guarantees success, but it does encourage( उतेजित करना) hope – and particularly if Ms Le Pen's chauvinist(कुल आदि को उच्च समझने वाला) form of nationalism can be seen off(विदा करना). The Front National dabbled(ऊपरी तौर से दिलचस्पी लेना) in greenwash last year, but its insistence(आग्रह 

) on an ecology( पर्यावरण ) defined by "patriotism(देशभक्ति ) and the national interest", and its instinctive(प्राकृतिक) suspicion(अविश्वास ) of a multilateral (बहुपक्षीय ) UN approach is precisely the attitude which could thwart( विफल करना) the translation of impressive COP 21 words into deeds.



Paris has given the world new hope in the possibilities of pragmatic(व्यावहारिक) diplomacy, at a time when France's own politics illustrate the difficulties of assuming solidarity(एकता ) extends beyond national borders. If the answer to climate change is going to have to be found in continuous haggling( मोल-तोल करना1  मो) between 200 nations, then success is also going to depend on winning the argument against narrow nationalism in every corner of the world.



 

 

0 comments:

DOWNLOAD EBOOKS