Leaders from 120 nations will meet in Glasgow from 31 Oct to 12 Nov to discuss ways to curb harmful greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and restrict global warming to 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius. Mint looks at India’s goals at the COP 26 Glasgow Climate Change Conference
Leaders from 120 nations will meet in Glasgow from 31 October to 12 November to discuss ways to curb harmful greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and restrict global warming to 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius. Mint looks at India’s goals at the COP 26 Glasgow Climate Change Conference
How bad are things at present?
GHG emissions from human activities have already increased the earth’s temperature by 1.1 degrees Celsius since 1850. Over the next 20 years, temperatures are likely to go up by 1.5 degrees Celsius. At 2 degrees Celsius of warming, heat extremes would reach critical tolerance thresholds for agriculture and health. A UN report this week warned that the world was on track for an average temperature rise of 2.7 degrees Celsius this century if the only steps it takes are the commitments announced till now. The 2.7 degree Celsius rise in temperature breaches the 2015 Paris Agreement’s target of 2 degree Celsius.
What does the world expect from India?
Being the largest emitter of GHGs after the US and China, countries have been pushing India to commit to a “net zero" deadline—the year by which India’s emissions will equal the GHGs taken out from the air through carbon sinks (forests). The world would also like to see India’s national commitments to include its ambitious plan to generate 450 gigawatt of energy through renewable sources. India says “net zero by 2050" could constrain the country’s economic growth. The second, it says depends on getting promised finances and the technology from rich countries.
Who is in the Indian delegation?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be at Leaders’ Summit on 1-2 November. Environment minister Bhupender Yadav will be assisted by a team of officials from the ministries of environment, finance, new and renewable energy, earth sciences, water and agriculture. Additional secretary environment and forests Richa Sharma is India’s chief climate negotiator.
What are India’s key demands?
India has said it is “open to all options" provided it gets assurances that developed nations will deliver on promises of $100 billion annually to help developing countries transition to clean energies. India needs not just promises but the cash coming in to fund the change-over from coal to green energy. A second demand is for the world to share green technologies. A third demand is that pledges made on carbon-credit markets should be fulfilled and nations responsible for the crisis should compensate those suffering the consequences.
What will India’s stance be?
India is going to Glasgow with a “positive mindset" and “will engage proactively on issues that involve climate change," say officials in New Delhi. This indicates India will not play “deal breaker". India is expected to press hard for finances and technology from developed nations. Modi will highlight India’s “aspirational goal" of generating 450 GW of energy from clean sources and the national hydrogen mission. India may say it will reduce GHG emissions provided developed countries take stronger action to control their emissions.