Resolution Compiled by Sabuj Mancha on The Backdrop of COP21 in Paris


Sabuj Mancha, roughly translated means a green platform, is a forum of individuals and organizations being conscious to the cause of environment. The platform has been born in 2009 and since then has been raising concern against various forms of environmental and climatic degradations. Presently it is the biggest platform of its kind in state of West Bengal in India

The Twenty-first edition of Conference of Parties (CoP) under United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is scheduled to be held shortly in Paris, France. This meeting has assumed critical importance in context to the present and potential future climatic situation in the world as highlighted by several international reports including the AR-5 (Fifth Assessment Report) of IPCC. Experts believe that the world is facing a difficult future with more than 2 degree centigrade temperature rise (compared to pre industrialized time) is predicted unless the global community, particularly the developed world, shows significant reduction in green house emission. As per the previous negotiations, a legally binding treaty is scheduled to be signed among all countries in Paris to chart out the mechanism of Green House Gas (GHG) emission cut post 2020. With this background and in accordance to an outcome of meeting held at Kolkata on Nov 22, 2015 , being organized by civil society environmental platform Sabuj Mancha (Green Platform), the following resolutions are adapted for due consideration of all stakeholders being involved in climate negotiation; either directly or indirectly.

  1. Scientific studies have made it clear that the sum total of voluntary GHG emission cuts promised by various countries through their INDCs (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) will not be adequate to keep the global temperature rise within 2 degree centigrade; which may prove catastrophic for the world.

We strongly urge all the countries, emphatically the developed countries, to undertake more ambitious GHG emission cut – Mission Emission Cut (MEC) – in sync with the scientific requirement.

  1. The emission cut of various countries need to be worked out based on following aspects ; present gross emission, historical emission since industrial revolution, per capita emission and its trend ; and present development status. The declaration of emission cut should be logical and in accordance to sense of equity and CBDR (Common But Differential Responsibility) as being envisaged in earlier negotiations.

We urge the scientific community to come up with Overall Emission Reduction (OER) mechanism of all countries based on above-mentioned variables which may be clamped as the guideline to the countries.

3.  It is being observed that often the overall scenario of the countries varies from regions within it (urban , semi-urban or rural) with respect to either contribution to climate change or impacts received as the consequence. Sundarbans in West Bengal is a prime example which is a climate impact hotspot despite contributing nothing to the problem.

We urge countries to spell out micro level climate policies / norms for these areas and particularly to Indian government for areas like Sundarbans.

  1. It is being noticed that many climate triggered problems spill over political boundaries and have been turning into regional problems affecting many millions; over transboundary areas. The problems of Himalayan region and Sundarbans may be referred in the context.

We urge UNFCCC to identify such Regional Climate Problems and Vulnerabilities (RCPV) and suggest regional mechanism to counter the same in consultation with stakeholder countries.

  1. It is an established position that livelihood practices of millions have already been affected due to changing climate, and more is expected in future, due to long term and short term impacts of changing climate. Agriculture and fishery livelihoods are being critically hit by climate change in many areas including India and West Bengal. Apart from changing pattern of monsoon and rainfall; rivers, water bodies across regions including India and West Bengal have been significantly impacted due to changing climate.

We urge UNFCCC to take strong global position on Çlimate Change Affected Livelihoods (CCAL) with appropriate inputs from scientific community. Major stakeholder countries are also urged to tackle the issue on a proactive basis.

  1. It is becoming clearer that only technology modification will not be able to ensure adequate emission reduction. It will be imperative to impose lifestyle changes within the emission reduction programme. As a matter of fact overtly consumerist lifestyle leads to significant waste of energy; in turn leading to GHG increase more than any other cause of action.

We strongly urge that lifestyle change and related waste of energy should be an agenda under negotiation and the scale of the same should be guided by the factors as mentioned under point 2.

  1. Though there have many talks about the Green Climate Fund or other sources of financial supports to Least Developed Countries and Developing countries to support them for undertaking mitigation or adaptation programmes; but the modus operandi is unclear. Moreover there has been lot of haziness regarding the operation and viability of market mechanisms including CDM to counter climate change.

We urge that UNFCCC should come out with a transparent and simplified policy about the climate change related financial support making it clear; who gets what and why?. On the market mechanisms part, we strongly believe that the climate finance should not be left to market alone. The public financial support should be routed through appropriate forum of UNFCCC based on priority as devised by a transparent mechanism.

  1. The world has already had several scars from climate change whose frequency is steadily increasing. However we are still talking in terms of future and hardly anybody seems to take responsibility for the ongoing disasters, be it in India (remember Uttarakhand disaster) or elsewhere. The Loss and Damage mechanism, as introduced during last few CoP negotiations, is a great platform to address the problem. However there have been serious efforts from a section of developed countries to scuttle the process and evade climate liability.

We strongly urge UNFCCC and negotiating countries to give proper importance, space and position to Loss and Damage and convert it to an appropriate instrument to support the vulnerable communities across the world including India and West Bengal.

  1. The principle of sustainable use of natural resources instead of dependence on energy intensive products can contribute significantly to reduction of GHG. Power sources like solar & wind; and agricultural products like jute are prime examples. As a matter of fact jute can largely replace plastic, production of which consumes significant amount of energy.

We appeal to UNFCCC to show leadership in facilitating paradigm of non-sustainable to sustainable use of natural resources based development with appropriate linkage to market incentive.

  1. Various socio-demographic studies show that the number of climate migrants has been consistently increasing within most climate hotspots including in Sundarbans with increasing impact of climate change. Experts point out that there will be a significant rise of the climate migrants (refugees) in future. Presently there is hardly any legal insulation for this most vulnerable community.

We demand an international law protecting the interest of these climate refugees over and above of local / national laws especially in areas holding any climate refugee.

  1. Waste is a significant source of GHG and its proper management with focus on recycling and reduction can lead to significant lessening of waste; and GHG as well. However the same has not received adequate attention so far.

We feel that recycling and reduction of waste needs to be prioritized globally, particularly in cities, and there should be proper policy direction in this regards. In this context we urge that the waste pickers be treated as climate volunteers and their role needs to be backed by adequate policy support.

  1. Ecosystems such as wetlands and forest provide unique ecosystem services; which is hardly been recognized within the ambit of financial paradigm of climate change. The East Kolkata Wetlands (EKW) at the fringe of city of Kolkata is a globally recognised example. In EKW waste water is utilized for agriculture and fishery after being naturally treated; which is a significant example of climate adaptation.

We demand that ecosystem services should be included within the negotiating structure and the model like EKW should be globally replicated.

  1. Motorized transport is known to be one of the major contributor of GHG. A shift to non motorized transport and public transport will contribute to reduction of GHG.

We demand provision of NMT and public transport should be duly accommodated in the policy and practice of all countries including India.

  1. While afforestation is a declared policy, it is often found that mass scale felling of trees and damaging of greenery take place in the name of development; which definitely negatively contributes to GHG.

We demand that the policy of minimal felling of trees or sacrificing of greenery needs to be followed; and even in case of felling there should be appropriate compensatory plan ensuring GHG should not be increased.

  1. Various reports suggest that wild life takes a strong bearing as a consequence of various vagaries of climate change. Iconic Royal Bengal Tiger in Sundarbans is an example. Especially the migratory animals, small and large, face lot of challenge as a consequence of climate change.

We demand more studies should be conducted on the issue and appropriate policy should be adopted.

Finally we would like to humbly but strongly share that the future of over 7 billion people cannot, and should not, be decided by around 200 governments. Civil society, more so the victims of climate change triggered people, should be allowed to play a major role in determining the official global actions. The civil society’s role must not be limited to peripheries of decision making process and rather they should play a much central role not only to facilitate untying the decisions to narrow geo-political or business interest but, more importantly, to ensure the involvement of global community in this revolution of ‘Mission Emission Cut’ which will never be possible under the exclusive ambit of governmental actions. We urge UNFCCC and important stakeholders to consider the resolution and act properly and quickly.