Indian experts urge world powers to set climate targets mindful of poor

  • Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times, Paris
  • Updated: Dec 10, 2015 00:27 IST
Three Indian institutions asked climate negotiators in Paris to decide a long-term global temperature limit in a “fair” and “equitable” manner. (REUTERS Photo)

Three Indian institutions asked climate negotiators in Paris on Wednesday to decide in a “fair” and “equitable” manner a long-term global temperature limit in a bid to adequately allocate carbon budgets to developing countries so they can meet their goals of economic growth.

“We would like to draw the attention of the climate negotiators to the need to allocate the remaining carbon budget in a fair manner to all countries so that there is a chance for meeting this temperature target,” said a joint statement issued by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), IIT-Bombay and Tata Institute for Social Sciences.

They also said the emerging temperature goal of 1.5OC by 2100 would require massive enhancement of financial and technological support from developed countries to developing nations so they are able to move quickly onto low-carbon development pathways. Rich nations are yet to give such a commitment.

To meet the goal, they said, developed countries would have to significantly increase the level of their own efforts and reach net zero emissions in the next 5-10 years.

“In the absence of such commitments, a 1.5OC temperature target would remain a hollow shell – devoid of any real significance,” the statement said.

Negotiators are considering for the first time to include the ambitious 1.5OC goal in a possible climate agreement in addition to the initially-decided 2OC goal, a move that will have extensive implications for countries like India.

According to a report from the United Nations climate panel IPCC, meeting the 1.5 OC target will entail peaking of global carbon emissions latest by 2030 with India having to cap its emissions latest by 2020.

“Comparing the existing INDCs (countries’ climate action plans) to the available carbon budget indicates that for a better than even chance of meeting the 1.5OC target, the remaining carbon budget is exhausted well before 2030,” the statement said.

The ramification for India would be that it would get just 16% of the remaining carbon budget of 550 gigatonnes by 2030, which would be half of the rich nations’ allocation, even though India’s population equals the developed worlds’, the institutions said.

“The developed countries under the current dispensation would continue to misappropriate the remaining carbon space even in the future,” they added.

They calculation by the institutes makes it clear that the 1.5 OC target cannot become operational without the developed world vacating carbon space for countries like India with huge poverty elimination goals.

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