Wants to be part of solution to climate crisis: Yadav at Biden-led meet

Besides this, the Union minister also pointed out that though India’s share of the world population is 17 per cent but the country’s share in cumulative historical emissions is just 4 per cent.
Union minister Bhupender Yadav in a virtual meeting at the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF) hosted by US President Joe Biden, in New Delhi, on Friday. (PTI)
Union minister Bhupender Yadav in a virtual meeting at the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF) hosted by US President Joe Biden, in New Delhi, on Friday. (PTI)
Updated on Sep 18, 2021 04:48 AM IST
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By Jayashree Nandi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Combating climate crisis is a shared global challenge and our response must be based on the fundamental principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, Union environment minister Bhupender Yadav said on Friday as he represented India at the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF) convened virtually by US President Joe Biden.

The minister also said that promises of climate finance and low-cost technology transfer from developed to developing nations must be fulfilled without delay. “Developing countries have consistently risen to the challenge through enhancement of ambition and acceleration of actions. Climate justice requires that the promises of climate finance and low-cost technology transfer from developed countries to developing countries must be fulfilled without any further delays,” Yadav said.

Besides this, the Union minister also pointed out that though India’s share of the world population is 17 per cent but the country’s share in cumulative historical emissions is just 4 per cent. The current annual emissions are only 5.2 per cent of the global emissions and the per capita emissions are about a third of the global average, he said.

“It is clear that we are not a part of the problem, but we want to be a part of the solution to the climate crisis,” he said.

“The world needs rapid, sustained, and deep emission cuts in this decade to meet the Paris Agreement goal of keeping global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels,” Yadav added.

Two international reports released on Friday suggested the world is far behind from meeting the Paris Agreement goals. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)’s NDC (Nationally Determined Contributions) Synthesis report said the world is on track for 2.7 degree warming over pre-industrial levels based on current pledges by countries on mitigating the climate crisis.

Another report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) flagged that developed countries had not delivered on their promise of mobilising 100 billion dollars a year even in 2019.

Following his submission at the forum, Yadav tweeted: “Represented India at the Major Economies Forum convened by @POTUS today. Mentioned that India believes the world needs rapid, sustained and deep emission cuts in this decade rather than setting distant targets.”

“Reiterated the centrality of Climate Justice as highlighted by PM @NarendraModi Ji at various forums, which requires that the promises of climate finance and low-cost technology transfer from developed countries to developing countries, must be fulfilled without delay,” he added.

In his speech, Yadav also said that India’s NDCs are ambitious and are a significant contribution towards achieving the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement. “Further, we will ensure that our successive nationally determined contributions reflect an ambitious progression over the existing ones, as required under the Paris Agreement,” he said.

India has an ambitious target of 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030, he said. “This is a high bar by any measure. In fact, it is amongst the most ambitious targets in the world. Our solar installed capacity has increased 15 times in the last six years alone. We have set up the International Solar Alliance to harness the energy of the sun and foster international cooperation in the sector,” he said, adding that India’s non-fossil fuel installed power capacity at 153.88 GW is already 39.64% of the total installed capacity, which indicates the country is likely to exceed one of the elements of its NDCs soon.

India’s NDC consists of three main elements --an economy-wide emissions intensity target of 33%–35% below 2005 levels, electric power capacity target of 40% installed capacity from non-fossil-based energy resources by 2030 (conditional to international support), and creating a carbon sink expansion target of creating an additional (cumulative) carbon sink of 2.5–3 GtCO2e through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.

“The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report reaffirms that cumulative emissions up to net zero will determine the eventual global temperature that is reached by the end of the century. Global carbon budget is a finite resource, and India has used up far less than its fair share,” he said, reiterating that India’s per capita emissions are about a third of the global average.

The MEF comes six weeks before the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow, which will set the course for global climate efforts over the coming decade.

Ahead of the UNFCCC releasing its NDC synthesis report which captures the pledges of countries against the Paris Agreement goals, UN secretary general Antonio Guterres issued a strong warning to G20 countries.

“Today’s report from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change on the Nationally Determined Contributions of all Parties to the Paris Agreement shows that the world is on a catastrophic pathway to 2.7-degrees of heating. This is breaking the promise made six years ago to pursue the 1.5-degree Celsius goal of the Paris Agreement. Failure to meet this goal will be measured in the massive loss of lives and livelihoods,” he said in a statement.

“G20 nations account for 80% of global emissions. Their leadership is needed more than ever. The decisions they take now will determine whether the promise made at Paris is kept or broken. Before COP 26 all nations should submit a more ambitious NDC that help to place the world on a 1.5-degree pathway. We also need developed nations to finally deliver on the US 100 billion commitment promised over a decade ago in support to developing countries,” Guterres added urging a 45% cut in emissions by 2030 to reach carbon neutrality by mid-century. The NDC synthesis report suggests there has been an increase of 16% in emissions in 2030 compared to 2010 levels.

The OECD on Friday published ‘Climate Finance Provided and Mobilised by Developed Countries’ report with updated data from 2019.

At the 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) in Copenhagen in 2009, developed countries had committed to a collective goal of mobilising USD 100 billion per year by 2020 for climate action in developing countries.

Since 2015, the OECD has produced analyses of progress towards this goal in their reports. This year’s report shows that in 2019, total climate finance provided and mobilised by developed countries for developing countries was USD 79.6 billion in 2019, an increase of only 2% from 2018. A more than USD 20 billion annual jump would, therefore, be required to meet the USD 100 billion goal for 2020.

“Climate finance is key to unlocking emissions reductions and action to adapt to #ClimateChange - today’s @OECD report shows there is much further to go

Developed countries must urgently step up their climate finance pledges to deliver on the $100bn goal,” tweeted Alok Sharma, COP 26 President responding to the OECD report.

In its report last month, the IPCC said the world may have lost the opportunity to keep global warming under 1.5 degree C over pre-industrial levels. The 1.5 degree C global warming threshold is likely to be breached in the next 10 to 20 years by 2040 even if carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions decline rapidly to net zero around 2050, it noted.

“While India’s emphasis on climate justice and climate finance is irrefutable, its domestic transition to renewables, electrification and hydrogen can lead to emission reduction and job creation. Rich countries need to step up concessional climate finance which had stagnated even before the pandemic,” said Ulka Kelkar, director, Climate, World Resources Institute, India.

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Friday, October 22, 2021