Sending out a clear message to the global community that scientific evidence of climate change has become stronger and more compelling, the Ninth Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) organised by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) concluded that climate change will leave no part of the globe untouched.
The summit called for a global concerted effort to enable transition to low carbon economies, and enhance adaptive capacities of vulnerable communities through sustainable financing mechanisms and technological resources.
The need of the hour is to intensify global cooperation, to redefine clear responsibilities and to ensure achievement of concrete results in Copenhagen.
Themed 'Towards Copenhagen: an equitable and ethical approach' the DSDS 2009 saw participation of stakeholders from various parts of the world comprising of Head of States, representatives from multilateral and bilateral development organisations, governments, the corporate sector, non-governmental organisations, academia, Nobel Laureates and research institutions.
The three-day summit (February 5-7 2009) explored options for an ethics based framework for future climate regime addressing adaptation and mitigation challenges, especially in the developing countries and the Africa region. On the adaptation front, the summit explored priorities, capacity building needs and adaptation measures in Asia and Africa.
African leaders, especially the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, leaders from Mozambique, Mali and Rwanda stressed that without the financial support from the developed world, climate change and humanitarian dimensions in their part of the world cannot be addressed.
Some of the strategies in their national action plans to combat climate change include mobilisation of financial resources for adaptation measures, creation of environmental infrastructure, simplification of CDM procedures, transfer of technologies, and measures for addressing the impact on health from climate change.
There was also an overwhelming affirmation that the promises of development aid to Africa from the developed world have not been fulfilled. Hence these countries explored the possibility of a cooperation with India and China, which have more appropriate experience and technologies to share.
The summit also had ministerial presence from over two dozen countries, where thought-provoking discussions on the politics of global cooperation in combating climate change were addressed.
Ministers from UAE, Japan, India, Germany, Norway, Egypt, Bhutan, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Sweden and Finland stressed on creating a timely shared vision, based on the tenets of common but differentiated responsibility, and a need of cooperation amongst ministers of environment and finance towards creating a negotiated consensus on more carbon-efficient economies.
Nobel Laureates Kofi Annan, Mario J Molina and Dr James A Mirrlees highlighted the mechanisms for effective commitment and agreement, and the financial challenges in the 'road to Copenhagen'. CEO's and business leaders from across the globe also identified the best practices and the ways forward for participation of the business community in tackling the issues of climate change, more so in the context of the current economic downturn.