DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS
27 October, 2021
8 Min Read
“Why after PARIS net zero emission becomes the new buzz to solve the problem of climate change and sea level rise. Why? India should not sign it…”
Global Scenario: By the end of 2020 twenty countries and regions have adopted net-zero targets. This list only includes countries that adopted a net-zero target in law or another policy document. The Kingdom of Bhutan is already carbon-negative, i.e. absorbs more CO2 than it emits.
Indian Condition: India’s per capita CO2 emissions – at 1.8 tonnes per person in 2015 – are around a ninth of those in the USA and around a third of the global average of 4.8 tonnes per person.(India is the third-largest emitter of CO2, behind China and the USA)
Sectors that are the largest emitters:
“As the recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change made it clear, limiting the increase in the world’s average temperature from pre-industrial levels to those agreed in the Paris Agreement requires global cumulative emissions of carbon dioxide to be capped at the global carbon budget”
It is a truism that such a cap means that eventually, emissions must go to zero, or more precisely, net zero.
Is it POSSIBLE?
But reaching net zero by itself is irrelevant to forestalling dangerous warming. This is no more rocket science than saying that the promise of when you will turn off the tap does not guarantee that you will draw only a specified quantity of water.
“The target is dead-on-arrival”
What India must do?
India, in enlightened self-interest, must now stake its claim to a fair share of the global carbon budget.
All of these will require at least the limited fossil fuel resources made available through a fair share of the carbon budget.
Net zero well before 2050: Developed countries and China, on the other hand, if they are serious about the Paris Agreement targets, must reach net zero well before 2050. For a target of 2°C, there is more room for the rest of the world, since the cumulative emission limit for it, with the same even odds, is 1,350 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide.
However, without restriction of their future cumulative emissions by the big emitters, to their fair share of the global carbon budget, and the corresponding temperature target that they correspond to made clear, India cannot sign on to net zero.
Even if India were to enhance its short-term Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement in some fashion, unnecessary as of now, it should do so while staking a claim to its share of the global commons. This will ensure that its efforts will not further enable the free-riding of the developed world and protect its access to this strategic resource, vital to India’s industrial and developmental future.
Source: The Hindu
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