There may not be any absolute emission cuts for India after 2020 in the proposed climate treaty but would have to take deeper pledge to check growth of carbon emissions.
Clear the air over Durban platform for Enhanced Action, European Union’s climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard said the treaty to be agreed by 2015 does not mean “emission cuts” for the developing world but their pledges would be legally enforceable. “Each pledge will be equal,” she said, adding that legal nature of the proposed treaty was important for Europe as it would be “mutually accountable and transparent”.
According to her, it would mean that India will pledge deviation from business as usual scenario, which it had done by announcing reduction of emission intensity by 20-25 percent by 2020 of its 2005 level. But, for post 2020 period when the new treaty will be applicable India along with other emerging economies may have to make a bigger commitment.
Hedegaard made it clear that the world was not on track to meet the aspirational goal to cap temperature rise by 2 degree Celsius and sought a global peaking year for emissions with more mitigation action by emerging economies.
On India’s demand for equity to be central to future climate deal, she was skeptical and said India needs to grow in a sustainable manner.
Aviation Carbon Tax
Hedegaard ruled out the possibility of Europe withdrawing its carbon tax on aviation sector despite protest by United States, India and China. “We tried to have an international agreement since 1995. When it did not happen we went ahead without our internal legislation,” she said, without ruling out that similar regime is in the wings for ships entering European ports. The only way Europe can withdraw the tax if there is an agreement on global carbon tax on aviation sector, not regulated by any emission control regime.
RIO plus 20
The climate commissioner was non-committal on Europe position on whether Sustainable Development Goals to be discussed at Earth Summit in Brazil in June should be mandatory or aspirational. “Europe has to decide on its position,” she said. But, the European negotiators at a meeting in New York last week sought mandatory SDGs to replace Millennium Development Goals (MDGS) by 2015.