What do top emitters want from the global stocktake at Cop28? | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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What do top emitters want from the global stocktake at Cop28?

ByJayashree Nandi, New Delhi
Nov 23, 2023 05:20 AM IST

Over the past few months parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change have submitted their opinion and wishlist and what they would like to see in GST.

The first Global Stocktake (GST) since the Paris Agreement that is scheduled to take place in Dubai this December will influence climate action this decade including the likelihood of checking climate devastation. As per the United Nations Environment Programme’s Emissons Gap report 2023 titled “Broken Record” released on Monday, since 2020, the top five greenhouse gas emitters are China followed by US, India, the EU and the Russian Federation. Based on historical emissions (1850 to 2021), the order changes with the US responsible for 19% emissions; China 13%; EU 13%; Russia 5%; and India only 4%.

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Over the past few months parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change have submitted their opinion and wishlist and what they would like to see in GST. Experts have said that this year’s GST could be so critical that it may be the draft text of the cover decisions for the Dubai climate talks. But the GST submissions show that top emitters have very divergent views on what they wish the stocktake to address. This may open up new fronts of debate at the COP28 climate talks.

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The issues remain the same: equity and responsibility; adherence to the Paris goals of 1.5 degrees C and 2 degrees C; the treatment of fossil fuels; and climate finance (including the loss and damage fund). Here’s what the submissions of the US, China, the EU, and India said in ther submissions on these issues -- which reflects their expectation from GST.

EQUITY AND RESPONSIBILITY

Expectedly, the US and EU submissions skirt this issue.

EU emphasizes that all Parties need to contribute to climate action, in particular those Parties currently emitting a high share of global GHG emissions at country level or per-capita, highlighting that equity should be an enabler of the highest possible ambition for all Parties, in line with the Paris Agreement. US says equity is already reflected throughout the articles of the Paris Agreement and is germane to the entire GST.

China’s submission emphasises the right to development and eradicating poverty for all parties, expressing serious concerns that most developed countries, with the most advanced economic and technological resources and capacities gained since industrial revolution, whose emissions already peaked decades ago, have committed to achieving net zero GHG emissions only by 2050 instead of much earlier.

India’s submission has pointed out that vulnerable communities who have historically contributed the least to current climate change are disproportionately affected. It adds that the appropriation of more than their fair shares of the carbon budget by the developed countries, means that large emitters are disproportionately responsible for damages caused by global warming.

THE PARIS AGREEMENT

The US submission says GST cannot be used as a backdoor attempt to undermine the Paris Agreement paradigm referring to the nationally determined nature of climate action . “We are concerned about comments that it is up to developed countryparties alone to fill gaps in implementing the Paris Agreement,” it says.

The EU submission emphasizes the 1.5 degrees C goal. “All Parties need to incorporate the GST outcomes in their NDCs ...including quantified, economy-wide targets for all GHGs, and other national climate change plans, strategies and policies to align with 1.5°C pathways.”

China says the GST should not be policy prescriptive or it shouldn’t specify what countries should do. China wants the Paris Agreement principles of equity, common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances be reflected.

GST should take into account the results of relevant work conducted under the Paris Agreement, the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol, having no individual Party focus, and include non-policy prescriptive consideration of collective progress.

India says the first question GST should be able to answer, “What is understood by Enhanced Climate Action?” The Paris Agreement makes climate resilience a global objective and a core element of the international climate regime. For the achievement of the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement, global transformational climate action is needed, India has underlined.

CLIMATE FINANCE

Here’s where the divergence is stark.

The US submission has said that the decision also recognizes that operationalizing the funding arrangements should engage a wide range of actors and identify and expand sources of funding.

The EU’s submission claims the bloc has been taking the lead in mobilizing climate finance. “As part of a global effort, the EU and its Member States continue to take the lead in mobilizing climate finance to developing countries from a wide variety of sources, instruments and channels (including instruments to unlock the huge potential of private finance through the targeted use of public climate finance) and a broad range of actions and continue to contribute their fair share to the climate finance goal of $100bn ”. But it also calls for expanding the contributor base for Loss and Damage fund in particular. “Acknowledge the need to strengthen, scale up, and improve coordination of the broader mosaic of loss and damage funding arrangements, including a fund, and expanding sources of funding stemming from a broad contributor base beyond the traditional donors, drawing upon a variety of sources including private and innovative sources, and aligning financial flows to invest in climate-resilient development.”

China’s submission highlights that developing countries need $ 5.8–5.9 trillion for the pre-2030 period to implement their NDCs and that there is a huge gap in finance flows from developed countries. Financing channels have broadened but growth has slowed since 2018, it adds. The submission also notes that about $ 4trillion per year needs to be invested in renewable energy up until 2030 to be able to reach net zero emissions by 2050, and that, furthermore, a global transformation to a low-carboneconomy is expected to require investment of at least $6 trillion per year.

India has highlighted that developing countries have sought transparency of financial flows and accounting rules for measuring progress in provision of finance; and more funds for adaptation. There is however no mechanism or guideline in place for a transparent and clear evaluation of progress on the $ 100 billion by 2020 pledge. “India feels the need to push for “no more reports” on mobilized finance but actual finance provided to be brought to light,” the country’s submission states.

FOSSIL FUELS

On fossil fuels, the US has called for accelerating efforts towards the phase-out of unabated fossil fuels. In addition, it has called for rapidly phasing out unabated coal power this decade and immediately ceasing to permit new unabated coal power generation. It has agreed to accelerating the deployment of renewable and other clean energy, with a view to tripling renewable and other clean energy capacity by 2030.

India has said developing countries have a right to sustainably develop, expand their economies, and improve their populations’ quality of life. This requires initial increases in GHG emissions. For these nations to seize the opportunity to technologically leap-frog and preferentially adopt renewable energy sources over fossil fuel-based infrastructure requires provision of means of implementation in terms of deployment and transfer of technology, enabled by provision of climate finance.

The EU highlights the need to significantly scale up global renewable energy and energy efficiency by 2030, while drastically cutting GHG emissions in all sectors, in particular energy, including non-CO2 gases such as methane and phasing out environmentally harmful fossil fuel subsidies.

China welcomes emission mitigation options that are technically viable, including, use of non-fossil fuels, fossil fuels with carbon capture technology, improving energy efficiency, electrification of urban systems, urban green infrastructure, demand side management.

RESPONSIBILITY

The GST outcome should also strike a balance between backward-looking elements on collective progress to date and forward-looking “recommended responses.” the US’s submission states, calling on all major emitters to make their NDCs compliant with the 1.5 degrees C goal.

China notes that GST is “taking place in rising unilateralism, protectionism, and anti-globalism, and enabling environment for climate actions is undergoing critical challenges, including inadequatemeans of implementation support, sanctions on low-carbon products and industries etc.”And its submission concludes that rich countries should continue taking the lead by undertaking economy-wide absolute emission reduction targets, including urgently closing pre-2020 mitigation gaps, revisiting and strengthening the 2030 targets in their NDCs, achieving net zero GHG emissions by 2040 ahead of global timeframe and negative GHG emissions as early as possible.

India says Parties are expected to use the outputs from the first GST and look domestically to increase their efforts and update their NDCs.

The EU It also seeks recognition of IPCC’s trajectory for keeping 1.5°C within reach requires global peaking of GHG emissions immediately and reduction of GHG emissions by 43% in 2030 and by 60% in 2035 (compared to 2019).

Net-zero CO2 emissions need to be achieved around 2050 along with deep reductions in other GHG emissions, its submission states. “All Parties need to incorporate the GST outcomes in their NDCs ...including quantified, economy-wide targets for all GHGs, and other national climate change plans, strategies and policies to align with 1.5°C pathways.”

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