Delhi Forces Participants To Add Its View In Presidency Statement
At a time when rich nations, backed by the UN climate body, have pitched for bringing all emitters on board to commit to ‘net-zero’ emission goal or carbon neutrality by around mid-century, India has come out with a counter proposal asking them to bring down their own per capita emission to global average by 2030.
India brought this narrative on the table while making its points on the concluding day of the G20 ministerial meeting on climate change and energy on late Friday evening in Naples and even forced the participants to add this point in the presidency statement.
Currently, India’s per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) emission is around 1.96 tCO2e (tonne carbon dioxide equivalent) which is less than one-third of the world’s per capita GHG emissions (6.55 tCO2e). On the other hand, the US has 17.6 tCO2e, Canada has 15.7 tCO2e, Australia has 14.9 tCO2e, Germany has 10.4 tCO2e, UK has 8.1 tCO2e, France has 6.6 tCO2e and China has 6.4 tCO2e of per capita emission.
Citing how rich nations have already consumed most of the ‘carbon space’ available for developmental needs due to their huge emission in the past, the Indian delegation intervened with a formal country statement on the issue.
Noting “the pledges made by some countries to achieve net-zero GHG emissions or carbon neutrality by or around mid-century”, India said this may not be adequate in view of fast depleting available ‘carbon space’.
“Therefore, and keeping in view the legitimate need of developing countries to grow, we urge G20 countries to commit to bringing down per capita emissions to global average by 2030,” said the statement of the Indian delegation, led by environment minister Bhupender Yadav, while finalising the G20 ministerial communique. The ministers of G20 countries then jointly agreed to include India’s remarks in the Presidency statement.
India’s remarks assume significance at this juncture when the UN climate body has been pushing nations to commit higher emission targets to reach the Paris Agreement goal of keeping the global average temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century and make efforts to keep it at around 1.5 degree Celsius over the pre-industrial level (1850-1900).