The road ahead for India after CoP 26, COP 26 UPSC | IAS Target IAS Target

Delivering Climate action: The road ahead for India after CoP 26

05 Jan 2022

Category : Environmental Issue

Topic: Delivering Climate action: The road ahead for India after CoP 26

Why in the news

The Prime Minister of India spoke recently at the COP26 Head of State and Government Summit in Glasgow, making critical proposals for climate protection and standing up for developing countries.
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Key Points of the Summit:

India's Commitments at the Summit:
The Prime Minister made a national declaration on behalf of India, while COP26 announced five of India's commitments on climate change. These include:
  • Increase India's energy capacity for non-fossil fuels to 500 gigawatts (GW) by 2030.
  • By 2030, renewable energy will cover 50% of India's energy demand.
  • By 2030, reduce the CO2 intensity of the Indian economy by more than 45%.
  • We will reduce the projected net carbon emissions from now to 2030 by 1 billion tons.
  • Achieve our net-zero carbon emissions target by 2070.

Climate Equity Monitor:

  • India also calls for climate justice on the actions of developed countries to achieve climate and energy goals.
  • According to the Climate Equity Monitor, which tracks various aspects of climate change, the United States, Russia, Australia, and most European countries exceed a fair share of the world's carbon budget.
  • At the same time, India, China, Africa and South America do.
  • Less consumption as their fair share.

India as an example:

  • India has established a solid position and has become very clear.
  • This demonstrates the willingness of developing countries to make firm decisions regarding climate change.
  • Given its historical responsibility for emissions in different parts of the world, India's response is far superior to developed countries.

Climate change and the world

Global Improvements:
According to UNEP's research, commitments have improved emissions by at least 2.628 trillion tonnes. Since the Paris Agreement in 2015, demand for new coal-fired power plants has plummeted, and since the signing of the Paris Agreement, more than 75% of planned coal-fired power plants have been scrapped.
Each country is also strengthening its efforts for net-zero, and about 84% of the whole country, including India, is working on the target of net-zero. More and more countries are setting goals for the phasing out of coal, and the world's methane pledge is in force.

India's Initiatives:

  • India recently announced that it will be carbon-neutral by 2070 under five action plans aimed at reducing emissions to 50% by 2030.
  • India is a large economy, the fourth-largest emitter in the world (including the EU), and one of the countries under considerable pressure to announce a net-zero emission target.
  • India made its announcement with its own deliberations in mind, but 2070 is not the goal the world was looking for.
  • India is committed to making 40% of its energy basket non-fossil fuel and 50% of its energy market renewable.
  • India is also working to reduce CO2 emissions by 1 billion tonnes.

Developed Countries and their Responsibility:

India believes in the principle of "shared but differentiated responsibility" that developed countries must take the first step to significantly reduce emissions. They are also supposed to compensate poor countries by paying for the environmental damage caused by past emissions.

Issues Related to Climate Change Mitigation raised in the NDC Integrated Report:

The NDC Integrated Report promises carbon-neutral targets for 2050. Developed countries should not add much, even if their commitments are summarized. In fact, they are trying to shift the burden of emissions onto developing countries.

Zero Net Emissions Problem:

Zero net emissions mean that one country can continue to emit greenhouse gases, buy carbon credits from other countries, and identify itself as zero net emissions. This is beneficial for some developing countries, but not at the global level. Developed countries should be climate-neutral by 2030. Otherwise, developed countries will continue to occupy carbon space.
That is, developing countries will be expelled from carbon space and will lose carbon space in the coming years.

Primary goal

Climate Funding:
Countries need to accelerate action, which needs to be supported by financial commitments from developed countries for containment as well as adaptation. Technology and individual investors will also play a major role in this context over the next decade.

Engagement between developing and developed countries:

More pressure needs to be put on better partnerships between nations. When it comes to climate justice, it is very important to work with developing and developed countries.
The UNSG (Secretary-General for United Nations) is also calling for a significant increase in adaptation funds, especially for countries that are already facing the challenges of the climate crisis and will face worse conditions in the future. Mobilizing public and private funds for adaptation will be very important to help these countries, especially after Covid.

Conclusion

Climate change is a major challenge and has many aspects. Some aspects are individually regulated by the country, but a global united front also needs to be built. Climate finance continues to be an important issue that ultimately bears fruit when developing countries get help from developed countries in what is known as climate justice.