NEW DELHI: The world came to a consensus over the issue of global warming during the Paris Agreement in 2015. A long- term temperature goal was set and it was agreed to limit global warming to 1.5 degree. During the G20 2021, an ambitious effort was made to secure commitments from member nations on achieving carbonneutrality by 2050. Echoing the sentiments of developing nations, India, Russia and China dissented.
India and some other developing countries are often accused of accelerating global warming. They are often called ‘polluters’. The emission statistics are often looked at in isolation i.e. without the relative context. The same data, when contextualised in the period when the West was industralising, would end up labeling almost all the developed countries as polluters.
When India ascends to G20 presidency, the key area it will focus on is to address this discrepancy and highlight that India or other developing countries are not polluters, said Amitabh Kant, the G20 Sherpa of India and former CEO of Niti Aayog, while explaining India’s perspective and leadership initiatives for the upcoming G20 presidency.
“If you were to look at the world, the total carbon space available to the world is about 3400 Giga tons, out of which India has occupied only 1.5 pc.
It’s logically entitled to 18.5 pc based on its per capita, population wise. India is, therefore, not a polluter. The carbon space has been occupied by the developed world and, therefore, they accepted the principle of climate justice. And they said that we will finance to support your transition,” he said at the Public Affairs Forum of India’s (PAFI) ninth Annual Forum 2022.
Kant praised India’s innovation and achievements, especially in the green energy domain. He lauded the efforts of the Government in creating an ambitious entrepreneurial environment in the country.
“India has demonstrated this when it lived up to its COP21 commitment in Paris. It was the only country which achieved its non-fossil power commitment nine years early. None of the G20 countries achieved that,” he said.
At G20, India will mobilise support from World Bank, IMF, multilateral organisations, developed nations and private sector to fund and aid developing countries’ green energy transition. There is huge leap which developing countries need to take for bringing their population out of poverty and providing an overall better quality of life to their citizens. Their growth engines need to be fueled by green energy, or, without support and funds they will have to make the hard choice of developing with fossil fuel.
As per the World Bank’s classification, India, with per capita income of approximately $2100, is a lower-middle income country. For the nation to be in the league of high income countries, its per capita income needs to cross $12,695. This humongous feat can only be achieved if the country can sustain a high growth rate between 6 to 8 per cent for the next 25 years.
Explaining the phenomenal growth of the Asian economies, Amitabh Kant wrote in The Week magazine recently: “When these countries were growing, global trade was expanding, global debt was at unprecedented levels and there was the luxury of carbonising while industrialising.”
First the Covid-19 and now the Russia-Ukraine war has antagonised global supply chain; particularly the war driving global inflation surge which has resulted into meltdown of the world economies. On top of all that, global warming noose is tightening around every developing country’s neck. India along with the other developing countries will have to industrialise without carbonising.