Pachauri urges legal mechanism needed to fight
August 19, 2007 at 5:37 pm | In Climate change,
Framework, India University, Lawmakers, Legal profession,
Mechanism, UNFCCC |
Bangalore, Aug 19 (IANS) There is need for a legal
mechanism to fight the challenges of climate change and global
warming that are threatening the environment, Tata Energy Research
Institute (TERI) director-general R.K. Pachauri said Sunday.
Delivering the convocation address at the 15th
annual convocation of the National Law School of India University
here, Pachauri told the graduating students there was no effective
means to address the problem of climate change on an equitable and
ethically fair basis.
“Though the people and the political class are
clamouring for a solution to the menace of global warming and the
impending climate change, there is no legal mechanism by which a
global agreement such as the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change) can be given adequate teeth for
compliance or a system to penalise those flouting such agreements.
“It is time the legal profession turns its
attention to the global dimensions of this serious challenge and
motivate decision-makers to bring about a transformation of
institutions and agreements to protect the lives of those who
would be worst affected by the impact of climate change,” Pachauri
Drawing the special attention of Chief Justice of
India K.G. Balakrishnan, who presided over the convocation as the
chancellor of the law university, Pachauri said the legal
community had a unique opportunity and responsibility to find a
solution that was acceptable to all stakeholders in protecting the
“As enforcing the rule of law has a direct bearing
on the executive and the people, the lawmakers will have a
profound impact on thinking, articulation and implementation of
solutions. We have a short window of time to take the lead in
creating a compelling rationale for action to prevent an imminent
We have only one planet that supports life as we
know it. If we want that life to continue without undue risk and
threat of disaster, we have to act with a sense of urgency,”
Pachauri exhorted the legal community.
As chairman of the Inter-Governmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC), Pachauri lamented there was no strong legal
structure or arrangement to address the climate change problem
within the requisite time frame in many parts of the world.
Expressing concern over the melting of glaciers
across the global at a rapid rate, the TERI chairman said as a
consequence the Indian sub-continent would have major implications
for river flows, especially in the northern states affecting the
lives of half a billion people.
Agriculture is also susceptible to the impacts of
climate change, as evident from the adverse affect on the wheat
crops in Haryana and Punjab. The worst impact of climate change
will be felt by the poorest communities, especially those living
in the tropics and sub-tropics. Likewise, the mega deltas in Asia
are prone to coastal flooding, and given the large number of
people who live in cities like Dhaka, Kolkata and Shanghai, the
impact of sea level rise on them will be severe.
Referring to the pro-active role of global agencies
such as the UN in combating global warming and overcome the impact
of climate change, Pachauri said though the UNCCC and the Kyoto
Protocol had a major influence on the governments in paying due
attention to the role of adaptation, the IPCC was in the process
of finalising the fourth report by November for deliberations in
the next conference of the parties to the convention to be held in
Bali (Indonesia) in December.