Integrating ecology and economy in India

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Book Chapter

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Recent years have witnessed a growing concern regarding the accumulation of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the earth's atmosphere. This concern has led to many in-depth studies of the phenomenon. Individual country studies have ranged from simple (albeit data-intensive), inventories of GHGs to evaluation of policy options to stabilize or reduce emissions in some future year. Impact studies have focused on better understanding the effects of gases on atmospheric temperature, monsoon patterns and sea level rise. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that the global temperature would increase up to 3.5°C by 2100 under the most likely scenarios.! The results of these models and other studies prompted calls for an international treaty which nations could adopt to restrict the growth of emissions. Such a treaty was put forward at the 1992 UNCED meeting in Rio de Janeiro. The text of the treaty was debated for many months prior to the convention. One of the critical divisive issues was the sharing of burden among the various parties. This issue lies at the heart of the debate among nations on climate change. Burden sharing is difficult to resolve since the emissions burden that each nation shoulders is different for each gas. And, it depends on the historical cumulative emissions that a country may have emitted through its use of various fuels. The burden varies by the type and extent of impact that a nation may have to bear as well.

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