Letters to the editor dated November 15, 2021

| Updated on November 15, 2021

Weak climate accord

The 26th Conference of Parties on Climate Change at Glasgow has ended with the adoption of a weaker-than-expected agreement called Glasgow Climate Pact. It will be also remembered for the failure of the developed world to meet their 12-year-old promise of mobilising at least $100 billion in climate finance to help the developing world deal with the impacts of climate change.

While India and China have successfully brought last-minute change to the language of the pact to phase-down but not phase-out coal, the fact is that coal is now on its way to being consigned to history. The growing body of substantial scientific evidence pointing to increasing heating up of earth’s atmosphere and its concomitant negative fallout manifested itself in an increasing frequency of adverse weather events afflicting countries across the globe was expected to nudge participant countries at the Glasgow meet to usher in needed measures to put the world on a 2 degree Celsius trajectory as envisaged in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

But by focussing on achieving the 1.5 degree Celsius temperature goal, the Glasgow Climate Pact has come as a missed opportunity to enhance global climate action.

M Jeyaram

Sholavandan, TN

Coal usage

After two weeks of hectic discussions, the Glasgow summit has concluded without getting any breakthrough on the major issue of ‘climate justice’, barring commitments to end deforestation and reduce methane emissions. Practically, it is not possible for any country to phase out usage of coal or any other fossil fuel overnight. Dependency needs to be reduced or eliminated in a phased manner. Hence, India was right in insisting that the verbal clause in the final draft be changed from ‘phasing out’ to ‘phasing down’, especially on usage of coal.

RV Baskaran


Act together

Apropos ‘Cold comfort’ (November 15), while climate changes affect all nations, those dependant on agriculture, like India, are more vulnerable to the vagaries of nature. All countries desire a better standard of living for their citizens. The rich countries are loathe to give up their privileges. The poorer countries try to emulate those nations with economic power. If India could lead a group of agriculture-dependent nations to act as a pressure group in international forums, a lot more can be achieved.

Anthony Henriques


Leading by example

This refers to ‘Taking vaccines and trust to tribal folk’ (November 15). The ‘Lead by example’ model adopted by health workers and social activists in interior India where vaccination is popular only as paediatric intervention has to be appreciated and is worth emulating across the country.

Roping in senior lady ‘leaders’ engaging directly with existing social groups and respecting group sentiments are all moves in the right direction made by selfless unsung heroes.

In contrast, elsewhere, governments and organisations force citizens to accept vaccination through threats like denial of ration, etc.

In a country like India, where literacy level is still low, public trust in government and social organisations is vital.

MG Warrier


Will Priyanka deliver in UP?

The refers to the news report that the Congress party will go solo in Uttar Pradesh polls and contest all 403 seats.

It was quite interesting to see the Congress general secretary in charge of Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, claiming that the party would not only go alone in the 2022 State elections, but will also emerge victorious.

As regards her ruling out any alliance either with the SP or BSP, it goes without saying that it always takes two to clap and both Akhilesh and Mayawati have already declared about not having any political truck with the Congress party this time around, may be due to its falling popularity graph at the macro level.

One really wonders whether Priyanka alone would be able to salvage her party’s sagging image.

Vinayak G

New Delhi

Published on November 15, 2021

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