Summary Report on International Conference on Climate Change: Shifting Science and Changing Policies

I was alerted by Barun Mitra of the Liberty Institute of India to a meeting summary of the

International Conference on Climate Change: Shifting Science and Changing Policies

The abstract of the meeting reads

The International Conference on Climate Change provided an opportunity to scientists, policy makers, scholars, and students to critically look at the issue of climate change with the context of shifting science and the changing policies. The goal was to limit the rampant fear mongering, exaggerated claims and media hype, which are casting a shadow on rational assessment of climate and objectively shaping policies to address the possible impact of changes in climate.

I am posting the url of the meeting summary with its abstracts for interested readers to look at.  For example, the Policy Implications session was summarized below.

The conference concluded with its final session detailing on the necessary and changing policies associated with climate change and related facets. The session involved three speakers- Dr. Bjarne Lembke, a physician and a specialist in occupational health; Pooja Kotiyal, Technical-project associate from the Ministry of Environment and Forest; and Mr. Barun Mitra, founder and director of Liberty Institute, and recipient of the Julian L. Simon Award 2005.

a) Dr. Lembke argued that the increasing number of vector borne diseases is, rather than a consequence of increasing temperatures as stated in the IPCC, is from the enormous urbanisation which is taking place on our planet. He stated that while 50% of the human population nowadays lives in big cities, people lose their natural immunity against many diseases. He said, global warming and climate changes have been adopted by the politicians and converted to a weapon for controlling people. Also, urban young people have 3 to 4% higher psychosomatic problems than 50 years ago. Instead of frightening people with disinformation about diseases and coastal flooding, they should be given true information and knowledge. He claims that the fear of global warming steals the limelight for real problems related to the “urbanization revolution”.

b) Ms. Kotiyal outlined the evolution of energy-environmental policies in the context of India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change. The key point underlined by her during the session was the need to understand the underlying process facilitating the evolution of energy-environmental policy landscape, its various elements and instruments therein. Kingdon’s multiple streams model was used to determine the evolution of these policy domains in India during the last three decades. Within the developed framework of analysis the NAPCC, its legitimacy and adequacy were analyzed as well as various other energy-environment policies were also reviewed by detailing the objectives and functions.

c) Mr Barun Mitra argued that decarbonisation of the world economy has been going on for the past 500 years, since mankind moved from using wood and charcoal to coal. Moreover, decarbonisation of the economies is an almost natural process which evolves due to the human need to become more energy efficient. He said, this has been a secular trend, quite irrespective of whether carbon emissions are causing global warming or not. In the event that an increasing level of carbon dioxide may contribute to global warming, this could be neutralized by the market economic system. A competitive market will continuously strive for greater energy efficiency, thus reducing the carbon intensity of the economy. Presenting examples of economies that have been decarbonising, he showed how the India economy has been following the same path towards decarbonisation after the initiative of economic liberalisation in the early 1990s. This trend has been sustained without any specific environment and climate policies, or laws. Developing countries like India, in his view, must have the freedom to choose the most efficient energy solutions in order to pursue their economic development.

Readers are invited to read the summaries of the other talks.

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