At a time when the United States’ stand on climate change has pitted it against every other country, other major economies appear not to have given up hopes from the Paris Agreement with India on Friday reiterating its commitment to implement the global deal in “letter and spirit” while underlining the importance of its implementation to globally fight the menace of climate change.
The country’s stand was articulated by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi while speaking at the informal meeting of BRICS leaders on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany.
Describing implementation of the Paris Agreement “globally” as essential to fight climate change, Modi noted that it was “mandatory” to implement the consensus reached at Paris. “India will implement the agreement in letter and spirit,” he said while highlighting important roles of other BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa – as well in achieving the goals under the global deal on climate change.
Addressing the session on sustainable development, climate and energy at the G20 summit, the Prime Minister stressed on the need to be forthcoming on climate change action and emphasised that the developing countries must have enough room to grow.
The remarks come amid general disappointment over the US President Donald Trump’s recent decision to withdraw from the deal. Though the US technically cannot withdraw from the deal before November, 2020, the move has already cast a shadow over the world’s second biggest polluter’s (after China) pre-2020 climate action. Trump had last month announced his administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, saying the deal unfairly benefited countries like India and China.
As the US is not on board, it will be a real challenge for the remaining G20 member countries to put their joint stand on the issue of climate change before the conclusion of the summit in Hamburg. It is, however, expected that the countries may spell out their commitments to scale up their climate action and the intent would reflect in the joint statement on the concluding day of the summit. It may include the rich nations’ commitment to improve the flow of climate finance to developing countries for their adaptation and mitigation actions.
As part of scaling up its climate action, France has already announced its plan to end sale of gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles by 2040 and its goal to become carbon neutral by 2050 by taking up multiple actions. Germany is also expected to spell out its ambitious plan to join the league.
The Paris Agreement was adopted by 195 countries in December, 2015. It had come into force in November last year after many countries including the US had ratified it.
Under its promised action under the Paris agreement, India is committed to install 175 GW of solar, wind and biomass electricity by 2022, reduce its emission intensity (emission per unit of GDP) by 33-35% from its 2005 levels by 2030, create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2030 through additional forest and tree cover and produce 40% of electricity from non-fossil fuel based energy resources by 2030.