Dear Jairam Rameshji, as an ordinary citizen I am a wee bit flummoxed by the goings on. Why should we be on the defensive?
If each person on the planet has the right to the same carbon footprint, the scale and speed of emissions cuts required by developed nations is far greater than the commitments governments are currently willing to make
If the world is to have a 2-in-3 chance of staying within the 2 °C rise between now and 2050 no more than 750 billion tonnes of carbon can be released between these two dates. If this calculated emission is distributed according to population levels, many developed nations would face almost immediate carbon bankruptcy.
At current rates and with 4.6 per cent of global population, the US would receive a 35 billion tonne allowance between now and 2050. US would use it up in around six years. The European Union's budget would run out in 12 years and China's in 24. India and Brazil's allowances would last 88 and 46 years respectively at current rates.
Industrialized countries are duty bound to carry out rapid and comprehensive decarbonisation if there is any credibility in their utterances. So take up the cudgel Rameshji instead of going on the defensive.