Developed countries have consumed more than 80% of the global carbon budget, leaving countries like India with very little carbon space for the future, the government said today
Responding to a question by BJP MP CM Ramesh, Minister of State for Environment Ashwini Kumar Choubey told the Rajya Sabha that India is doing far more than its fair share to combat climate change.
Developed countries have consumed more than 80 per cent of the global carbon budget (since 1850) for limiting average temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2100, leaving countries like India with “very little carbon space for the future”, the minister said.
Rich nations are “eating into even this reduced entitlement” for India. Despite this, India has chosen to walk its climate talk, conscious of the need to pioneer a sustainable development pathway for the entire globe, while attending to the needs and aspirations of its people, economy and society, he said. C
Climate science defines carbon budget as the amount of greenhouse gases that can be emitted for a given level of global warming (1.5 degrees Celsius in this case).
India’s annual emissions are well below the three leading emitters – China, the US and the European Union — and its per capita emissions are much below the world average. The country accounts for less than 4 per cent of the global cumulative emissions from 1850 until 2019, Mr Choubey told the Upper House.
At 2.4 tCO2e (tonne carbon dioxide equivalent), India’s per capita greenhouse gas emission is far below the global average of 6.3 tCO2e, according to a report released last year by the United Nations Environment Programme.
Per capita emission in the US (14 tCO2e) is far above the global average, followed by Russia (13 tCO2e), China (9.7 tCO2e), Brazil and Indonesia (about 7.5 tCO2e each), and the European Union (7.2 tCO2e).
“The national emissions must be judged both by equity in mitigation and in the light of climate actions being undertaken. On both grounds, India, relative to its responsibility and relative to what equity demands, is doing far more than its fair share,” Mr Choubey said.
India updated its nationally determined contributions — national plans to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius — in August last year, promising to reduce emissions intensity of GDP by 45 per cent by 2030, from the 2005 level, and achieve 50 per cent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030.
India’s climate actions have so far been largely financed through domestic resources, the minister said.
At the Paris climate talks in 2015, countries agreed to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius as compared to the pre-industrial levels to avoid extreme, destructive and likely irreversible effects of climate change.
Earth’s global surface temperature has risen by around 1.15 degrees Celsius and the carbon dioxide spewed into the atmosphere since the start of the industrial revolution is closely tied to it. In the business-as-usual scenario, the world is heading for a temperature rise of around 3 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.
Climate science says the world must halve emissions by 2030 from the 2009 levels to keep the chances of achieving the 1.5-degrees target alive.
Developing countries argue that wealthier nations should take greater responsibility for emission reductions, given their historical emissions, and provide the necessary means of implementation, including finance and technology, to assist developing and vulnerable nations in the transition to clean energy and adapting to climate change.
At the Copenhagen UN climate talks in 2009, developed countries had promised to provide $100 billion per year by 2020 to help developing countries combat climate change. The failure to deliver this commitment at successive climate talks has eroded trust.
According to the latest assessment of delivery plans, the $100 billion commitment will be met only in 2023, three years past the target date, and only then mainly because of increased financing from the multilateral development banks.
Bilateral public finance, which is the most important indicator of the direct contribution by developed countries, has not increased measurably since 2016 and there remain important shortfalls in its quality.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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