Press Releases

  • Ninth Delhi Sustainable Development Summit seeks timely multilateral and collaborative approach amongst countries to combat climate change and ensure concrete acceptable solutions at Copenhagen

    7 February 2009

    Sending a clear message to the global community that scientific evidence of climate change has become stronger and more compelling, the ninth Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) organised by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) concluded that climate change will leave no part of the globe untouched. The summit called for a global concerted effort to enable transition to low carbon economies, and enhance adaptive capacities of vulnerable communities through sustainable financing mechanisms and technological resources. The need of the hour is to intensify global cooperation to redefine clear responsibilities to ensure achievement of concrete results in Copenhagen.

    Themed ‘Towards Copenhagen: an equitable and ethical approach’ the DSDS 2009 saw participation of stakeholders from various parts of the world comprising of Head of States, representatives from multilateral and bilateral development organisations, governments, the corporate sector, non-overnmental organisations, academia, Nobel Laureates and research institutions.

    The three day summit from February 5-7 2009 explored options for an ethics based framework for future climate regime addressing adaptation and mitigation challenges, especially in the developing countries and the Africa region. On the adaptation front, the summit explored priorities, capacity building needs and adaptation measures in Asia and Africa.

    African leaders, especially the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, leaders from Mozambique, Mali and Rwanda stressed that without the financial support from the developed world, climate change and humanitarian dimensions in their part of the world cannot be addressed. Some of the strategies in their national action plans to combat climate change include mobilisation of financial resources for adaptation measures, creation of environmental infrastructure, simplification of CDM procedures, transfer of technologies, and measures for addressing the impact on health from climate change. There was also an overwhelming affirmation that the promises of development aid to Africa from the developed world have not been fulfilled. Hence these countries explored the possibility of a - South cooperation with Indian and China, which have more appropriate experience and technologies to share.

    The summit also had ministerial presence from over two dozen countries where thought-provoking discussions on the politics of global cooperation in combating climate change were addressed. Ministers from UAE, Japan, India, Germany, Norway, Egypt, Bhutan, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Sweden and Finland stressed on creating a timely shared vision -- based on the tenets of common but differentiated responsibility, and a need of cooperation amongst ministers of environment and finance towards creating a negotiated consensus on more carbon-efficient economies. A need to integrate climate change and development finance, resulting in stronger financial transfers to developing countries was expressed. Also the necessity of including critical social and economic issues such as food security, livelihood and poverty issues, within the ambit of climate change negotiations was emphasised.

    Nobel Laureates, Mr. Kofi Annan, Prof Mario J Molina and Dr James A Mirrlees highlighted the mechanisms for effective commitment and agreement, and the financial challenges in the ‘road to Copenhagen’. They stressed for a need for an alternate institution which could implement carbon taxation and cap trade in an equitable and agreeable manner. Mr. Kofi Annan in his address emphasized that climate change is an all-encompassing threat for the global community and the less developed countries are bearing the bunt. He stated that following the ‘polluter pays’ principle, those who are polluting the most must pay the cost.

    CEO’s and business leaders from across the globe also dentified the best practices and the ways forward for participation of the business community in tackling the issues of climate change, more so in the context of the current economic downturn. Mr. Bjorn Stigson, President World Business Council for Sustainable Development stressed that businesses should develop solutions that have the outreach and are affordable, as in the case of telecom sector in India.

    Overall, by bringing together the important players from various sectors and focusing on essential building blocks, DSDS 2009 identified key challenges and opportunities resulting due to climate change, the global response required, and the actions to enhance financial resources and transfer of technology.

    Continuing its path towards attaining sustainable development, DSDS in its 10th year will discuss implementation programmes set out in Copenhagen. Themed, ‘Beyond Copenhagen: new pathways to sustainable development’ will talk about the innovations, strategies and modules to further streamline the activities to fight climate change.