Column: A billion times anything ... is huge!
India’s per capita emissions doubled between 2000-2009. When Jayanthi Natarajan cries that they will not exceed 3.7 tonne even in 2030, even with a growth rate of 8-9% per annum (compared to 17 tonnes for the US as of 2009), what’s going through Tuvalu’s mind? That India will be the world’s most populous country by then. The alliance of small island states is thinking, sure, India says its development before environment approach is justified on historical grounds. But they have suffered the same historical injustices. In yesteryears, colonisers would export their industrial pollution abroad. Without any such options available any more, with the dark winds of climate change blowing across national boundaries, India’s resistance to binding global action becomes somewhat indistinguishable from that of the US. Both countries are now part of the small club of 10 countries from which two-thirds of global emissions in
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