Net-zero emissions pledge and issues related to this pledge for developing countries

Net-zero emissions pledge and issues related to this pledge for developing countries

Net-zero emissions pledge and issues related to this pledge for developing countries

Developed countries have a very poor track record in climate action. In this context, his recently announced pledges for climate action—including a declaration of net-zero emissions by 2050—can be considered relatively small in ensuring the security of our planet. Thus, the pressure on developing countries to announce ‘do more’ and similar net-zero pledges is nothing more than shifting the burden of climate action to the world’s poorest population.

In addition, India has announced to achieve carbon neutrality by 2070 as part of a five-point action plan, which also includes reducing emissions by 50% by 2030. This decision needs to be analyzed in the interest of the development needs of India.

energy for development

There is a strong link between energy use and development. No country has been able to ensure a reasonable level of welfare for its population without increasing the energy supply.

But unfortunately, all available sources of energy—that can be directed to specific purposes, such as industrial production or transportation—often produce serious effects, especially the emission of carbon dioxide, which is most responsible for ‘global warming. Greenhouse gas.

From the year 1850 to the year 2019, the world has emitted about 2,500 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide. Developed countries, which carry 18% of the global population, are responsible for more than 60% of these emissions.

The uncontrolled use of fossil fuel resources has given these countries the opportunity to modernize their economies and grow more rapidly than the remaining 82% of the population living in the ‘Global South’ or Global South.

The United Nations Climate Change Framework Convention (UNFCCC) emphasizes the principle of distinction between rich and poor countries and expects rich countries to take the lead in addressing the problem of global warming.

But nearly three decades after the UNFCCC, the world’s richest countries have shown inaction on climate action, repeatedly trying to evade their responsibilities by changing emissions reductions and climate finance goals for the future. Is.

Emphasis on net zero declarations in recent times and pressure on all countries to pledge in this regard is also another effort in this direction.

net zero emissions

Net-zero emissions refer to balancing anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions at a global or region-specific level with anthropogenic elimination of greenhouse gases.

The pressure on all countries to make such declarations began during the COP-25 around the year 2019, when the Paris Agreement was a year left for the implementation.

This idea of ​​making net-zero declarations by individual countries and regions is being used as an excuse to hide the inaction of the developed countries for the last 30 years.

However, even these forward-looking announcements are not enough to ensure the safety of the planet. The “enhanced pledge” of the US, UK, and EU (27) for the year 2030 and their current stated intention to achieve net-zero emissions around the year 2050 means that these two major landmasses alone account for 30% of the remaining carbon budget. Will be consuming more than

Combined, both these territories and China will emit at least 20% more carbon dioxide than is available to the world to keep warming below 1.5 °C.

way ahead

Development for all: Climate action requires the disclosure of more and more ambitions from the developed countries to the world so that less developed countries can get some opportunities for development.

The world needs to end the many forms of labor monotony and deprivation that afflicts most of our population.

For this, there is a need to ensure access to modern, economical, and reliable facilities and services for all. It is also important to prepare for a world that is likely to warm more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. In such a world our first defense against climate impacts will be developed.

Strengthening Climate Implementation: India should emphasize building and strengthening its domestic institutions for climate implementation. This would require identifying the relationship between development needs and low carbon opportunities. In this context, having a climate law could prove useful.

Affirmation of CBDR: In the upcoming climate change negotiations, India needs to reaffirm the long-standing principle of ‘Common But Differentiated Responsibility (CBDR)’, which requires rich countries to play a leadership role and against any such pledge. There would need to be a debate that risks prematurely limiting Indian energy use for development.

Increasing Renewable Capacity: India’s total installed solar as per the ‘Implications of a Net-Zero Target for India’s Sectoral Energy Transition and Climate Policy’ study report by Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) More than 5,600 GW of energy capacity will be required to achieve the Net Zero target by 2070.

India has to reduce the use of coal, especially for electricity generation by 99% by the year 2060 to achieve the net-zero target by 2070.

Crude oil consumption in all sectors will need to peak by 2050 and reduce by 90% between 2050 and 2070.

Green hydrogen can contribute to 19% of the total energy requirement of the industrial sector.

India’s energy future should be determined by the developmental needs of its people and their protection from the effects of climate change.

India’s efforts in the energy sector are a testimony to the fact that India is working beyond its capacity on climate action.

Although India is making its due contribution to controlling global warming, this should not be an opportunity for developed countries to take advantage of India’s efforts.

It is imperative that India’s fair share of carbon space and consequently the energy future of its people are secured in a timely manner.


According to data compiled by the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, countries that have pledged to net zero emissions should be asked to declare that they will meet this goal. How much will consume the remaining carbon budget before reaching

The answer to this question is important to determine in which direction the world is headed. In this global context, our energy path to the future must be carefully crafted where there is room for substantial resilience while keeping the interests of our poorest and most vulnerable populations at the center of any pledge.

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