Meeting the global aim of achieving net zero emissions by 2050 will necessitate developed nations increasing their emission reduction efforts, India said on Saturday at the G7 Ministers Meeting on Climate, Energy, and the Environment in Sapporo, Japan.
India has asked the G7 countries to intensify their carbon reduction approach or forget the Net Zero 2050 target.
This will provide opportunities for developing countries like India to address their people’s needs, thereby increasing resilience to the adverse effects of climate change, environmental degradation, and pollution, said Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav during the plenary session of the G7 ministers’ meeting.
He also stressed the importance of developing countries having access to enough implementation, financing, and technology in order to effectively battle climate change and handle environmental concerns.
“The global goal of reaching net zero by 2050 needs enhanced emission descaling by developed nations. This will provide space for countries like India to achieve the development required for its people, which will provide necessary defence against the impacts of climate change, environmental degradation and pollution,” he said.
“IPCC AR 6 report re-emphasises that development is our first defence against climate change,” Yadav said.
“We do hope that developed countries will make good on their commitments on finance for combating climate change and provide for the same for dealing with the environmental degradation and biodiversity loss,” a statement quoting the minister said.
Rich countries have repeatedly failed to mobilise the USD 100 billion promised in 2009 to assist underdeveloped countries in dealing with climate change.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked USD 1 trillion from industrialised countries at COP 26 in Glasgow to adapt to and reduce the challenges posed by global warming. This has remained a condition for India to meet its climate pledges.
While attempts have been made to build policy frameworks to address climate change, Yadav believes it is now critical for governments around the world to engage individuals and foster greater public participation in the battle against climate change.
Last year, Prime Minister Modi launched ‘Mission LiFE’ (lifestyle for environment), which aims for a global mass movement to instill behavioural changes centred on “mindful and deliberate utilisation” of resources.
Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom compose the G7.
During last year’s G7 conference in Germany, the participating countries agreed on a shared goal of transitioning to a largely decarbonized electricity supply by 2035.
At a recent event in New Delhi, Yadav stated that India is free to use its resources to meet its people’s energy demands, and that countries historically responsible for climate change cannot compel it to halt its development.
Any action to prevent climate change must be founded on the concepts of equality and Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC), according to India.
In essence, equity means that each country’s contribution of world carbon dioxide emissions is equal to its part of global population.
The CBDR-RC concept acknowledges that each country bears responsibility for addressing climate change, but industrialised countries should have primary responsibility because they account for the majority of historical and current greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the Union Environment Ministry, India has 17% of the world’s population but accounts for only 4% of global carbon emissions. Developed countries with the same population share contribute for roughly 60% of carbon emissions.
The global surface temperature has risen by around 1.15 degrees Celsius from the pre-industrial (1850-1900) average, and CO2 emissions into the atmosphere since the commencement of the industrial revolution are directly related to it.
According to accounts, significant damage had already been done before the 1990s, when economies such as India began to develop.
According to the “Global Carbon Budget Report – 2022,” three countries accounted for more than half of global CO2 emissions in 2021: China (31%), the United States (14%), and the European Union (8%).
India ranked fourth, accounting for 7% of world CO2 emissions.
However, at 2.4 tCO2e (tonne carbon dioxide equivalent), India’s per capita greenhouse gas emissions are significantly below the global average of 6.3 tCO2e, according to a United Nations Environment Programme research released last year.
The United States emits significantly more CO2e per capita than the rest of the world, with 14 tCO2e, followed by Russia (13 tCO2e), China (9.7 tCO2e), Brazil and Indonesia (about 7.5 tCO2e each), and the European Union (7.2 tCO2e).