May 2008

Conference on Civil Society Report on Climate Change, 2nd April 2008, New Delhi, India

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Background

Liberty Institute, New Delhi and Civil Society Coalition on Climate Change (CSCCC), a  coalition of over 40 civil society organisations, jointly organised a conference on climate change and the challenges faced because of the same. The event was an attempt to understand climate change from an alternative perspective and to isolate climate change from adaptation and mitigation strategies. The conference was a closed consortium mainly comprising of participants from civil society organisations.

The main integrant of the conference was the release of Civil Society Report on Climate Change by Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Government of India. The report was critical of the traditional reports on climate change mainly endorsed upon and published by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The report was eloquent of the non-relation between climate change and climate-rated natural disasters. The report, digressing from prototype reports on climate change, maintained that lowering greenhouse gas emissions in the coming two decades is not a cost-effective way to address climate change. It also maintained that global restrictions on greenhouse gases would eventually retard growth prospects mainly in developing economies.

Civil society report on climate change

The inaugural session was chaired and moderated by Mohit Satyanand, Chairperson, Liberty Institute. The first panelist in the inaugural session was Montek Singh Ahluwalia. Ahluwalia, while sharing his views and opinions on climate events, said, “It needs to be thoroughly discussed and if it is true then it is for the developed countries to mitigate the damage caused to environment while the developing countries can resort to adaptation to prevent global warming,” Ahluwalia further added that the developed countries can afford to spend the money on new technologies which can then be used by the developing countries. During the course of the session, he officially released the much-awaited 'Civil Society Report on Climate Change'. Deepak Lal, Professor, University of California, Los Angeles while critically assessing the work of Nobel laureate Al Gore argued that the intended correlation between earth's temperature and carbon emissions is only a correlation and not causation. He further added that efforts were on to prove an alternative hypothesis which suggests that the warming was being caused by cosmic rays that keep bombarding the earth. Julian Morris, Visiting Professor

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