G8, precisely speaking it is a group of eight developed countries. To beginning at the beginning, G8 was formed in 1997 when Russia joined the 7 pre-existing nations comprising of the states of Italy, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, Canada, France and United States. They came together to join hands and fight against global issues such as economy and security matters.
The matters taken in consideration so far have been international trade and privatization of government-run industries and services. Policies discussed so far have helped in fighting various global issues and has smoothened the interaction among the world’s richest countries. It is a different sort of forum, because it does not possess any power on formal basis. India is not a permanent member but for this year’s summit five nations including India, China, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa were also present.
It does not have an administrative makeup like other international organizations. Each of its members get the chance to control the administration at the beginning of each new term. The country holding the presidency plans and organizes the summits on the approval of others. As far as India’s contribution to G8 is concerned, although it is not a permanent member (only an invitee), it has been contributing immensely towards this summit like it does for other organizations. The ongoing role of India in G8 is about putting legal limits to greenhouse gas emissions. Such a global issue involving global warming and pollution is important for all the developed as well as developing countries. Developed countries such as America are the ones that contribute maximum towards world’s pollution. America makes use of massive technology which leads to emissions of pollutants that adds to world’s pollution. Countries such as China and India are heavily populated yet these contribute less to world’s pollution as compared to the developed countries. Therefore, before any decision could be taken on the summit by countries such as India, it is important that the actual members should put forward their views first. It is also true that reducing greenhouse emissions would have adverse effects on India’s GDP growth. This is because if India approves this summit it would have to decrease its overall energy consumption which would reduce the production and further will effect the country’s economy. Whereas, if we talk about countries such as Japan, it has succeeded in doubling its GDP over last 30 years. If such countries would contribute to the summit, they would not face a lot of adverse effects. Therefore, it is important that the developed countries must approve the summit without the involvement of the developing countries. Some input towards the climate change will be better than nothing.
Though India is fixed on its decision to reject this summit, it is facing pressure from countries such as Europe and America. According to them India, being a developing country would contribute massively as a future polluter from sometime now and therefore it must reduce its greenhouse gas emission as well. Such a decision would be difficult for India because now is the time when India’s economy has developed extremely well and any step towards its retardation would lead to unfavorable effects on India’s prevailing conditions and poverty alleviation programs. India would have to persist the ongoing growth in economy for at least the next 20-25 years in order to overcome the vicious cycle of poverty. Any compromise on environment or development will destroy the whole plan. All this doesn’t indicate that India is insensitive towards the world environment. It has taken several steps to balance the environmental pollution with development. India has been growing in car production where it promotes CNG vehicles, vehicles that are compact and cause less emissions. In the production of electricity, it plays an important role in generating hydroelectricity that could easily be penetrated from water. Traffic signals make use of solar energy in daylight and many more attempts have been taken.
But for now, there needs to be some understanding among the countries especially between the developed and the developing. The developed countries must contribute towards the upliftment of countries such as ours rather than arguing and enforcing pressure which would create tension among the nations. A summit such as G8 aims at uniting countries and bringing them together to fight against the current global crises. The above was just a small insight of the ongoing G8 summit and India’s relations with the same.
Shelly Mahajan \
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