‘Asia is poised for climate leadership’

New Delhi, July 26 : After the US withdrawal from the Paris deal, Asia is poised for climate leadership even in the absence of a common pattern of responses on climate politics from different Asian countries, a leading environment expert has said.

Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) CEO Arunabha Ghosh said that Asia – with its two largest populations in China and India with their large carbon footprints – can indeed take climate leadership but it needed to speak for the world not just for itself.

“We don’t need an Asian voice; we need many Asian voices to describe many Asian transitions,” he said while delivering a lecture here as a part of Changing Asia lecture series organised by the Society for Policy Studies (SPS) along with India Habitat Centre on Tuesday evening.

Ghosh said the US exit from the Paris deal brings a whole new dimension to the politics of climate change.

“Immediately after US President Donald Trump’s announcement, commentators across the world jumped to pass the climate leadership mantle on to China, perhaps to convey the message to other countries that all was not lost,” he said.

Ghosh said that underlying premise behind this approach was flawed as it presumed that the US was the world’s climate leader until May 31.

He said while the US was central to the problem and was needed for a practical solution, it was not the climate leader.

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