Sunday, August 19, 2007

Legal mechanisms needed to fight climate change: Pachauri

Mangalorean, via IANS: There is need for a legal mechanism to fight the challenges of climate change and global warming that are threatening the environment, Tata Energy Research Institute (TERI) director-general R.K. Pachauri said Sunday.

Delivering the convocation address at the 15th annual convocation of the National Law School of India University here, Pachauri told the graduating students there was no effective means to address the problem of climate change on an equitable and ethically fair basis.

"Though the people and the political class are clamouring for a solution to the menace of global warming and the impending climate change, there is no legal mechanism by which a global agreement such as the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) can be given adequate teeth for compliance or a system to penalise those flouting such agreements.

"It is time the legal profession turns its attention to the global dimensions of this serious challenge and motivate decision-makers to bring about a transformation of institutions and agreements to protect the lives of those who would be worst affected by the impact of climate change," Pachauri said.

Drawing the special attention of Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan, who presided over the convocation as the chancellor of the law university, Pachauri said the legal community had a unique opportunity and responsibility to find a solution that was acceptable to all stakeholders in protecting the global environment….

As chairman of the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Pachauri lamented there was no strong legal structure or arrangement to address the climate change problem within the requisite time frame in many parts of the world.

…Referring to the pro-active role of global agencies such as the UN in combating global warming and overcome the impact of climate change, Pachauri said though the UNCCC and the Kyoto Protocol had a major influence on the governments in paying due attention to the role of adaptation, the IPCC was in the process of finalising the fourth report by November for deliberations in the next conference of the parties to the convention to be held in Bali (Indonesia) in December.

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