Present at the Creation: The Making of the Framework Convention on Climate Change

Present at the Creation: The Making of the Framework Convention on Climate Change

By Chandrashekhar Dasgupta
in India in a Warming World: Integrating Climate Change and Development
Edited by Navroz K Dubash
Oxford University Press
2019

In this chapter, India’s lead negotiator for the framework convention recalls that the negotiations were marked by deep differences between developed and developing countries (though there were also significant divergences within these groups). Developing countries pressed for an equity-based agreement, maintaining that developed countries should accept their responsibility for precipitating climate change. They called on industrialized countries to accept time-bound emission reduction obligations and to transfer finance and technology to support voluntary mitigation actions by developing countries. The convention recognized that voluntary obligations agreed by developing countries were conditional on receipt of financial resources to cover all incremental costs. However, developed countries accepted only an ambiguously worded emission stabilization commitment. This deficiency was rectified by the Kyoto Protocol (1997), which prescribed time-bound emission reduction targets for each developed country. The Paris Agreement (2015) halted this line of progress, marking a reversal to the ‘pledge and review’ approach rejected in 1991.

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