COP27: On coal, India must stand its ground

Updated on Nov 13, 2022 08:11 PM IST

Like it did in COP26 in Glasgow, India must stand its ground on coal and push for more immediate needs of the developing world: Climate finance and green tech at affordable costs from the rich nations. The Global North can’t impose its agenda on everyone else

India’s stand relates to differences over which fuels are to be singled out for action, specifically the phasing out of subsidies by 2025 (AP) PREMIUM
India’s stand relates to differences over which fuels are to be singled out for action, specifically the phasing out of subsidies by 2025 (AP)
ByHT Editorial

The 27th round of the United Nations-led Confe-rence of the Parties (COP27) meeting currently underway in Egypt has completed a week, and the stage lights, as expected, are back on coal. On Saturday, as negotiations on the cover text began, India made it clear that participating countries must acknowledge that all fossil fuels — coal, oil and gas (and not just coal) — contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and that the 2015 Paris Agreement requi-res phasing down of all fossil fuels. The proposal would have to be agreed upon by consensus next week if it is to go into a final COP27 deal.

India’s stand relates to differences over which fuels are to be singled out for action, specifically the phasing out of subsidies by 2025. Developed nations have pushed for a harder line on fossil fuels such as coal, which developing countries depend on. India has always been clear that while it will expand its renewable energy portfolio, coal is going to be the mainstay of the energy sector for some years. Besides, coal is the lifeline of the local communities of coal-bearing areas. Therefore, any energy transition also has to be equitable and smooth. As Indian delegates at COP27 told this newspaper, the selective singling out of sources of emissions, for either labelling them more harmful, or labelling them “green and sustainable” even when they are sources of greenhouse gases, has no basis in the best available science. Like it did in COP26 in Glasgow, India must stand its ground on coal and push for more immediate needs of the developing world: Climate finance and green tech at affordable costs from the rich nations. The Global North can’t impose its agenda on everyone else.

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