COP21 General Assembly: Turmoil in India

By Alyssa Tolentino
Press Corps Writer

Rising sea levels have caused disastrous effects in India, including the displacement of 15,000 people. This has lead to overpopulation in some parts of the country and debilitating effects on agricultural production. The government of India has called for international aid, such as food, supplies, and other resources.

France and Qatar led the way in willingness to provide aid to India, voicing the need to rebuild the affected areas and to repair or improve infrastructure. Germany called on the committee to also take in refugees, leading Canada to suggest a multinational council to be created to deal with the refugee crisis at hand. Bangladesh said, “Leaving this problem up to countries on their own will prove to be ineffective. A council is what we need.”

Because some countries were adamant about a council being made, the conference debated heavily on the purpose and powers of this council. Costa Rica calls for the ability of the council to facilitate treaties between nations for the ability of climate refugees to move in the event of natural disasters. The moving of refugees would be based on a mathematical equation to place refugees. The algorithm put forward was met with significant discord among the conference. “We need a human solution,” Canada said, “Not a math solution.”

The crisis in India has opened up debate on climate change, notably on how to hold corporations, who contribute for 70 percent of climate change, accountable. CEOs in Western nations have threatened to move their businesses to Russia, China, and OPEC countries who continue to claim that climate change is not an issue. Uruguay called on the delegates to “tackle the problem at the source.”

More to follow soon.

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