What is meant by ‘common but differentiated responsibilities’? How could we implement the idea?
One of the most discussed points of the Rio Summit was the difference of approaches by the developed world, i.e. the North, and the developing world, i.e. the South, towards dealing with the environmental degradation.
At the Rio Summit, 1992, principal of “Common but differentiated responsibilities”, was acknowledged in the following manner:
a. The developed countries accepted greater responsibility in protecting the environment and pledged to work in pursuit towards sustainable development.
b. They acknowledged the growing pressures placed by their societies on the environment. This is because the largest share of the current global carbon emissions is enjoyed by the developed world.
c. It was also agreed by the nation states that all the countries would work in cooperation and in partnership towards conserving and protecting the environment. Besides this, they woud also protect and restore the health and integrity of the Earth’s ecosystem.
d. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), held in 1992, said that the parties should act to protect the climate system on the basis of the principles of commons but with differentiated responsibilities.
e. The adoption of Kyoto Protocol, which aimed at setting targets for the industrialised countries in order to reduce green house emissions, can be seen in this context.
f. The protocol exempted the developing countries like India and China from binding targets.