India seeks compensation for climate damages caused by developed nations | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

India seeks compensation for climate damages caused by developed nations

Bloomberg |
Oct 23, 2021 11:04 AM IST

The broad idea is that, based on historical contributions to global greenhouse gases, countries will provide compensation for the damages that pollution will one day cause.

India is seeking payment for the losses caused by climate disasters, its environment ministry said while laying out the country’s positions on critical issues that will be negotiated at the United Nations’ COP26 climate summit in the coming weeks.  

Do per capita carbon emissions have a role to play in deciding climate action being taken by countries? (Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)
Do per capita carbon emissions have a role to play in deciding climate action being taken by countries? (Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)

“Our ask is this: there should be a compensation for expenses incurred, and it should be borne by developed nations,” Rameshwar Prasad Gupta, the ministry’s senior-most civil servant, said on Friday. He added that India stands with other low-income and developing countries on the matter. Leaders and diplomats from across the globe are set to gather in Glasgow, Scotland, for the annual COP summit, which is seen as a make-or-break meeting to stave off the worsening effects of climate change. Compensation for climate disasters is expected to be a major sticking point at the talks, and the subject is something that India has already raised with U.S. climate envoy John Kerry, according to Gupta. Rich countries have added the majority of greenhouse gases causing the planet to warm above pre-industrial levels. 

Hindustan Times - your fastest source for breaking news! Read now.

The 2015 Paris climate agreement included language to address “loss and damage,” but it left questions about liability and redress unanswered. Discussions began as early as 2013 at a previous summit in Warsaw, but the technical details of how such money transfers occur still hasn’t been thrashed out.

The broad idea is that, based on historical contributions to global greenhouse gases, countries will provide compensation for the damages that pollution will one day cause. Countries that suffer climate impacts can then lay claim to money for repairs after a climate-fueled hurricane or flood. But not all disasters are caused by climate change, and scientists have only recently begun the hard work of being able to calculate how much a warmer planet contributed to an extreme weather event.

India is the world’s third-largest emitter on an annual basis today and among the top ten historical emitters, which means it too will have to contribute money into the pot. Even if India’s pay-in for damages were roughly 4%, the country would stand to get a larger pay-out for the losses it will incur, Gupta said. “If they want India to be a part, we may be willing,” he added.

Net Zero

The country is the only economy among the world’s 10 largest not to have set a goal to zero out its emissions. Even its neighbor China has one for 2060, slightly later than the 2050 target that the U.S., the U.K. and the EU are aiming for. Earlier this year, India considered setting a net-zero goal, but it has since backed out. Not all nations need to announce a net-zero target before Glasgow, according to environment minister Bhupender Yadav. 

“Climate finance hasn’t come in,” said Gupta. “For more ambitious climate goals, let there be more finance’’ first. 

This issue is set to be another talking point at the summit. Developed countries were supposed to provide $100 billion in climate finance to developing countries annually, starting in 2020. The money would be used for projects that reduce emissions and help countries adapt to warming. The latest figure stands at about $90 billion, and the hopes for the full commitment are dimming as the Glasgow conference approaches. 

As with past COP meetings, India’s delegation also plans to bring up the point of fairness. The country’s annual per capita emissions stand at about two tons of carbon dioxide, compared to more than 16 tons for the U.S. and less than half of the global per capita average. 

The recent energy crunch — marked by soaring natural gas prices — has also given India ammunition to continue using coal, the only fossil fuel which it has in abundance. That’s going to be a problem for the U.K.,  the host country, with COP26 President Alok Sharma having said that the Glasgow talks could “consign coal to history.”

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi has confirmed that he will join the COP26 summit along with 120 other heads of state. The conference runs from Oct. 31-Nov. 12. 

Unveiling 'Elections 2024: The Big Picture', a fresh segment in HT's talk show 'The Interview with Kumkum Chadha', where leaders across the political spectrum discuss the upcoming general elections. Watch Now!

Get Current Updates on India News, Rajya Sabha Election 2024 Live, Gaganyaan Mission Astronauts along with Latest News and Top Headlines from India and around the world
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, February 29, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On