Do not profiteer from climate crisis: Yadav

ByJayashree Nandi
Mar 06, 2023 01:08 AM IST

India’s climate policy is directed towards sustainable development and poverty eradication, while striving to decouple carbon emissions from growth and achieve energy efficiency across sectors, Yadav said

New Delhi The climate crisis is unlike other global issues, such as those of trade or finance, and traditional responses to it or the tendency to profiteer from a disaster need to be avoided, Union environment minister Bhupender Yadav said on Sunday.

Do not profiteer from climate crisis: Yadav
Do not profiteer from climate crisis: Yadav

“I would like to remind especially friends from the global north that we must understand that this crisis is starkly different from other global crisis of trade and finance and therefore traditional responses and the tendency of profiteering from a disaster need to shunned,” he said at the Raisina Dialogue 2023, which is being held in New Delhi.

“Greenwashing (deceiving the public that an organisation’s products, aims and policies are eco-friendly), abrogating historical responsibilities and protectionism in the name of climate action need to be stopped,” the minister said, without citing any specific policy promoting protectionism.

The European Commission has proposed a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, a tariff on imports of carbon-intensive goods such as cement, fertilisers and metal products. The recent Inflation Reduction Act of the US intends to transform that country’s efforts to address the climate emergency but will support local manufacturing by increasing production tax credits for the making of solar panels, wind turbines, batteries and critical minerals processing. Both have raised concerns of protectionism.

India’s climate policy is directed towards sustainable development and poverty eradication, while striving to decouple carbon emissions from growth and achieve energy efficiency across sectors, Yadav said. As India assumed the presidency of the G20, a collective of the world’s major economies, it is leading by example on climate action, he added.

The country achieved its first voluntary commitment to address climate change in 2015, nine years before the deadline and the only G20 member to do so, the minister pointed out. Globally, India stands 4th in terms of installed renewable energy capacity, 4th in terms of wind installed capacity, and 5th in terms of solar installed capacity, Yadav said.

In August, India submitted its updated voluntary commitment to the United Nations that seeks to reach even more ambitious targets, in line with its Long Term Low Emission Development Strategy revealed at the UN climate summit in Egypt in November, he added.

“Our Long Term Low Emission Development Strategy document is premised on two major pillars of climate justice and sustainable lifestyles alongside principles of common but differentiated responsibility and respective capabilities. Combating climate change cuts across several verticals where a coordinated and integrated approach serves as an effective tool for a tangible change at the grassroots,” Yadav said. “India’s G20 presidency on similar lines intends to bring an integrated, comprehensive and consensus driven approach to address climate change and pursue sustainable growth.”

It was unfortunate that the world learnt about the concept of sustainability the hard way, the minister said. “We are now witness to how mindless consumption and unplanned development has jeopardised food and energy security across many a nation,” he said. “There are developing countries that are reeling under the menace of unsustainable debt and at the same time are also victims of unsustainable consumption and production processes of the developed world.”

In the recently concluded first Environment and Climate Sustainability Working Group meeting of G20 in Bengaluru, delegates discussed land degradation, circular economy and blue economy, accelerating climate action, science and gaps. These discussions will play a significant role in providing valuable inputs towards the G20 ministerial level meeting in Chennai, Yadav said.

“We look to India and its influential role as presidency of the G20 to help us deliver a clear political framework and help shape the outcomes we must see at COP28,” Simon Stiell, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, said on February 25 at the World Sustainable Development Summit organised by the Energy and Resources Institute in New Delhi. COP28 refers to the next UN climate summit to be held in Dubai in December.

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