New Delhi: India on Monday (November 14) firmly resisted calls for developing countries to raise ambitions at the ongoing UN climate summit in Egypt, saying “goalposts are being shifted constantly”, while rich nations have “enormously” failed in delivering the technology and financial resources needed for low-carbon development. Making an intervention at the “Ministerial High-Level Roundtable on Pre-2030 Ambition”, Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav said the historical cumulative emissions of countries should be the measure of their responsibility to raise ambitions and that some developed nations “must reach net zero even before 2030” as their goal to become carbon neutral by 2050 is “not enough at all”.
Net zero means achieving a balance between the greenhouse gases put into the atmosphere and those taken out.
Our understanding is that the Annex-I Parties have not met their pre-2020 commitments together and several individually as well. But the real question, according to the best science, is the cumulative emissions until 2030. So pre-2030 ambition must be measured in terms of whether countries are staying within their fair share of the carbon budget, taking note of both the historical period and in the future.
The developed countries must take the lead in raising ambitions as the bulk of finance and technology is available with them.
The convention (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement both recognise this, but “we have not had adequate action”, the minister said.
Last week, developed countries proposed that discussions on a new plan to scale up mitigation and ambition should focus on all top 20 emitters, including India and China, and not just the rich nations which are historically responsible for climate change.
However, India blocked the attempt with support from like-minded developing countries, including China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan.
At the roundtable on pre-2030 ambition, India said not delivering financial resources to developing countries is an “enormous failure” and calling for ambition from the developing countries is “not meaningful if the time required for low-carbon development is not recognised”.
Mr Yadav said,
Unfortunately, with every decade, with every new agreement, with every new scientific report, more and more action is demanded from the developing countries. If goalposts are changed constantly, it will not yield results but only words and promises.
The minister said it must be recognised that the opportunities for ambition vary across parties. If not, efforts to increase ambition from those who have little to give will only result in inaction, he added.
A key theme at COP27 is a call for rich nations, responsible for a large share of historical emissions and global warming, to deliver technology and finance to help developing and poor countries fight climate change.
Developed countries are expectedly pushing developing nations to further intensify their climate plans.
In a veiled reference to the US’ carbon offset initiative “Energy Transition Accelerator” to fund clean energy projects in developing countries, Mr Yadav said increasing ambition requires “public action” which includes public sources of climate finance and technology. He said,
Leaving it to markets alone will not help. Markets do not function well in normal times, but either do not function or function very inequitably in moments of crisis. We see this with the energy crisis in developed countries.
Referring to the UN’s Methane Alert and Response System, or MARS, which will use satellites to detect methane emission events, Yadav said that the right sectors must be identified for ambition and targeting small farmers for mitigation in the name of ambition would be a serious mistake.
“If we target domestic and public lighting, and increase the use of clean fuel to replace biomass, we can achieve some significant gains in low-carbon development,” the minister said.
India emphasised that just transition in developing countries is “simply about enabling low-carbon development”. Mr Yadav said,
It cannot be about an early start to decarbonisation in any sector, though decarbonising various sectors as and when feasible will arise sometime in the future. This will be detrimental to both the overriding priority of achieving the SDG goals by 2030 and subsequent development.
“Fossil fuels will continue to be part of a rational use of natural resources to protect energy security. Support for just transition means increased support for the deployment of renewables, increased support for the development of renewable technologies and means to cope with the costs of such development and the deployment of such technologies,” he added.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.