Q. 4

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Answer :

● There was a difference in the approach to environmental conservation between the countries of the North and the South.

● The developed countries of the North wanted to discuss the environmental issue and wanted everybody to be equally responsible for ecological conservation.

● The developing countries of the South felt that most of the ecological degradation was due to the industrial development activities undertaken by the developed countries of the North.

● Since they are responsible for more degradation they had to be held accountable for more responsibility for undoing the damage now.

● The developing countries are in the process of industrialization and they must not be subjected to the same restrictions applied to the developed countries.

● The special needs of the developing countries must be considered in the development, application, and interpretation of rules of international environmental law.

● This argument was accepted in the Rio declaration in the Earth Summit 1992 and was called the principle of ‘common but differentiated responsibilities’.

● According to the Rio declaration, ‘States shall co-operate in the spirit of global partnership to conserve, protect and restore the health and integrity of the Earth's ecosystem. In view of the different contributions of global environmental degradation, States have common but differentiated responsibilities. The developed countries acknowledge the responsibility that they bear in the international pursuit of sustainable development in view of the pressures their societies place on the global environment and of the technological and financial resources they command.

● The 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change provided that the parties should act to protect the climate system on the basis of equity and in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and capabilities.

● The parties of the convention agreed that the largest share of historical and current global emissions of greenhouse gases has originated in the developing countries.

● The per capita emission in developing countries was still very low.

● Many developing countries like China in India were exempted from the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol.

● Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement setting targets for industrialized countries to reduce Greenhouse gas emissions.

● It was agreed to in 1997 in Kyoto, Japan.

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