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Mint: Legalities of Climate Change

Author: Anuradha R.V.
August 4, 2009

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A recent climate change declaration poses significant challenges--and opportunities--for India.

The Declaration of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF) signed on 9 July, marks a significant event in the run-up to the United Nations (UN) climate change conference in Copenhagen in December. Launched in March this year, MEF comprises 17 developed and developing economies-Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, the UK and the US. The crux of the MEF declaration is a clear acknowledgement that the increase in global average temperatures above pre-industrial levels should not exceed 2 degrees Celsius and that both developed and developing countries need to work towards this goal. This article seeks to examine the broad contours of the MEF declaration and the legal niceties that a developing country such as India would need to bear in mind during the forthcoming negotiations for a climate deal that would follow the Kyoto Protocol in 2012.

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