Climate Change | India

Developing countries need much longer beyond 2050 to reach Net-Zero: Joint statement by India, China and other nations

Picture used for representational purposes only. File

Picture used for representational purposes only. File | Photo Credit: Mohd Arif

India, in a strong cross-regional joint statement on behalf of 10 nations, including China, on Tuesday asserted that developing countries need to be given an additional time frame beyond 2050 to reach net-zero emissions due to their goals of poverty eradication and development and for this developed nations should do a net-negative by middle of the century and vacate the carbon space for developing countries.

India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador T.S. Tirumurti delivered a cross-regional joint statement on behalf of India and Bolivia, China, Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Mali, Nicaragua, Panama and Syria on "Global Net Zero” in the context of combatting climate change.

“We need a clear recognition that developing countries will need much longer beyond 2050 to reach Net-Zero given their overarching goals of poverty eradication and development and will peak after the developed countries do. They will need to be given additional time-frame to peak and go towards Net-Zero, which will be beyond 2050,” the joint statement, delivered by Mr. Tirumurti, said.

"We, therefore, call on developed countries to do a Net-Negative in 2050 in order to vacate the carbon space in 2050 for developing countries to grow till they too reach Net-Zero. We call on them to do a Net-Zero much earlier than 2050, so that the world does not, in effect, move farther away from achieving the Paris targets,” the joint statement said.

The statement added that "it becomes clear that a Global Net-Zero, where developing countries take longer to reach Net-Zero, can only be achieved if developed countries reach Net-Zero earlier than 2050. Therefore, developed countries must reach Net Zero well before 2050 in order to achieve overall global net zero target by around mid-century” on the basis of equity, Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR), poverty eradication and sustainable development.

The U.N. has outlined that in order to keep global warming to no more than 1.5°C, as declared in the Paris Agreement, greenhouse gas emissions need to be reduced by 45% by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050. The world body has explained that net zero “means cutting greenhouse gas emissions to as close to zero as possible, with any remaining emissions re-absorbed from the atmosphere, by oceans and forests for instance.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi had told the COP26 global climate summit in Glasgow last year that India will meet a target of net zero emissions by 2070.

In the cross-regional statement delivered on the occasion of the World Environment Day, Mr. Tirumurti said the 10 countries welcome the text of the Paris Agreement that provides for ‘global peaking’. He referred to Article 4 of Paris Agreement that states that “In order to achieve the long-term temperature goal set out in Article 2, Parties aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible, recognising that peaking will take longer for developing country Parties.” "We believe that the word ‘global peaking’ is a conscious and considered insertion in the Paris Agreement text with full recognition of the fact that peaking will take longer for developing countries. The developed countries, given their historical emissions, will have to peak first. That’s why the reference is to “global peaking” and not “individual peaking”,” he said.

The statement added that keeping this in mind, it is logical “that when developing country parties peak later than developed countries, they will also achieve Net Zero later than developed countries.

“Consequently, it is the logical conclusion of the Article 4 of the Paris Agreement that when we consider Net Zero, we should only consider “Global Net Zero” and not “Individual Net Zero” for 2050. Anything other interpretation will be contrary to Article 4 of the Paris Agreement,” the statement said.

The joint statement also urged developed countries to undertake clear, time-bound pathways to ensure that they meet their Paris commitments, which include not just mitigation targets but also targets in adaptation, loss and damage, climate-specific finance, technology transfer and capacity building.

The latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recognises that although global tracked climate finance has shown an upward trend, current global financial flows for adaptation, including from public and private finance sources, are insufficient for and constrain implementation of adaptation options especially in developing countries.

“We, consequently, urge developed countries to raise their ambition in their net-zero target years with clear and short-term targets for mitigation and accelerated delivery of climate finance, technology transfer and other implementation support. The challenges of rapid global warming cannot be met solely through enhanced ambition of mitigation,” it said.

Further, Global Net Zero is also fully in accordance with principles of CBDR and of Equity, enshrined in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Calling out those nations that are demanding a goalpost of “an individual net zero”, the joint statement said that “Consequently, the objective is to arrive at a “Global Net Zero” in 2050 and not “Individual Net Zero” that is now being sought to be made as a template for all countries.” It noted that recent reports of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) underscore the highly disproportionate emissions between developed countries and the rest of the world.

The joint statement also highlighted that the Leaders’ Declaration of the G20 Summit in 2021 referred to the relevance of achieving Global Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions or carbon neutrality by or around mid-century.

Prime Minister Modi had said in Glasgow that developed nations must fulfil the promised $1 trillion as climate finance, saying this should be tracked the same way as climate mitigation.

“India expects developed countries to make $1 trillion available as climate finance as soon as possible. As we track the progress of climate mitigation, we must also track climate finance. Justice would truly be served if pressure is put on those countries that have not lived up to their climate finance commitments,” Mr. Modi had said.

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Printable version | Aug 15, 2022 8:55:51 am |