New Delhi: India has used far less than its fair share of the global carbon budget and its emissions can grow as it is a developing country with sustainable development and poverty eradication among its leading priorities, the government has said. The global carbon budget is the total amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions permitted over a period of time while still having a chance to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial (1850-1900) levels. According to India’s third Biennial Update Report submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in February 2021, the country’s net greenhouse gas emissions for 2016 stood at 2.5 billion tonnes.
“Our per capita emissions are 1.96 tonnes which is less than one-third of the world’s per capita GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions and our annual emissions in 2016 are only about 5 per cent of the global emissions.”
India has contributed only around 4 per cent of global cumulative emissions from 1850 to 2019, despite being home to around one-sixth of humanity, Union Minister of State for Environment Ashwini Kumar Choubey told Rajya Sabha on Thursday (July 28).
India has maintained that historical and current greenhouse gas emissions of the developed countries are responsible for global warming and these nations should, therefore, lead climate actions.
The minister said climate change is a “global collective action problem” to be addressed through multilateralism and nations must use only their respective fair shares of the global carbon budget.
By this criterion, India has used far less than its fair share of the global carbon budget, he said.
Mr Choubey said the global rate of growth of emissions cannot be compared to India’s growth rate.
Based on equity and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, as enshrined in the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement, India’s emissions can grow as it is a developing country whose leading priorities are sustainable development and poverty eradication, he said.
In the 2015 Paris Agreement, countries agreed to hold “the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius… and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degree Celsius”.
Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities acknowledge the different capabilities and differing responsibilities of individual countries in addressing climate change.
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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.