So what does this Red Saree signify?
The red sari signifies the festivity of marriage and celebrating a bond which will last lifetimes. For India , it was important to drape a red sari to get wedded strategically to US as Dr Singh said in an interview to The Washington Post, “We are strategic partners”.
Just yesterday Dr Manmohan Singh and his wife flew back from Washington DC after having a successful round of bilateral negotiations with Obama. The agenda for the bilateral was mostly around fighting terrrorism and making US put pressure on Pakistan to take strong action on the terrorists attack in Mumbai last year.
But more than just that it was key to defining the new political equations between an existing powerhouse and an emerging superpower. The big issues which were in discussion were :nuclear disarmament ,poverty alleviation,energy security, terrorism and building consensus on the nitty gritty details of the nuclear deal.
These “four or five big global issues” will form the cornerstones of the new India-US strategic partnership in the next few decades, which has been unveiled towards the end of Dr Singh’s state visit to the US, the first such by any world leader during the Obama presidency.
In total 6 Memoranda-of-understandings were signed, 2 memoranda-of-interest as well as several other initiatives and agreements.
A shade of green with the red saree
A green partnership has been signed onto which calls for the following three things:
- Launch of a “Green Partnership” to strengthen U.S./India cooperation on clean energy, climate change, and food security. This reflects our two countries’ commitment to taking vigorous action to combat climate change, ensuring mutual energy security, working towards global food security, and building a clean energy economy that will drive investment, job creation, and economic growth throughout the 21st century.
- Launch of an Indo-U.S. Clean Energy Research and Deployment Initiative, supported by U.S. and Indian government funding and private sector contributions. This new Initiative will include a Joint Research Center operating in both the United States and India to foster innovation and joint efforts to accelerate deployment of clean energy technologies. The Initiative will facilitate joint research, scientific exchanges, and sharing of proven innovation and deployment policies.
- Support for an Indian EPA that will focus on creating a more effective system of environmental governance, regulation and enforcement. Working with the India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will provide technical support to help establish an Indian National Environmental Protection Authority.
What about the Copenhagen Deal?
In the extended MOU signed , there is the following mention of the Copenhagen outcome.
Prime Minister Singh and President Obama affirmed that the Copenhagen outcome must be comprehensive and cover mitigation, adaptation, finance, and technology. Moreover, it should reflect emission reduction targets for developed countries and nationally appropriate mitigation actions by developing countries. There should be scaled-up finance, technology, and capacity-building support. There should be full transparency as to the implementation of their mitigation commitments and appropriate processes for review. Both leaders resolved to take significant mitigation actions and to stand by these commitments.
From the above statement one infers , India is still sticking to its stance on taking the nationally appropriate mitigation “actions” and the US has not only accepted this as a comprehensive outcome in contradiction to its strong belief to see India and China take “responsibility” beyond NAMA but also reaffirming the big responsibility of putting numbers on the table.
Although the catch is that the US would want full MRV- report on all actions to where the money is being used to mitigate in receiving countries. And India will only accept MRV for the additional finance and technlogy coming through from the developed world.
Could this be a non mover? Or could they still come to a consensus in Copenhagen?
Are India and US “partners in crime” to bring a weak deal in Copenhagen?
We hope not, and if nothing, we can celebrate the acceptance of a Copenhagen Outcome by the two big players.
About the authorLeela Raina
Leela is a young climate activist with an undergraduate degree in Economics. She has pioneered youth involvement, awareness and movements across India through her work with the Indian Youth Climate Network. A policy enthusiast, Leela loves to research and get to the bottom of the problem to resolve it. She is currently the South Asian Focal Point for IYCN and believes in the capacity of the south asian youth to usher in and lead the way towards sustainable economic growth