ARKANSAS, Oct 14 (Future Headlines)- India is taking a bold stance at the upcoming COP28 climate summit in Dubai, advocating for developed nations to become carbon-negative rather than carbon-neutral by 2050. The objective is to provide emerging market economies with additional time to use fossil fuels for development needs. As discussions on climate change intensify, the push for carbon negativity represents a significant shift in the global approach to addressing climate issues.
Currently, developed countries, including the United States, Britain, Canada, and Japan, are committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. China has pledged to reach net zero by 2060, while India has set a goal for net zero emissions by 2070. Net zero, also known as carbon neutrality, implies that any carbon dioxide emissions released into the atmosphere are balanced by activities that remove an equivalent amount. On the other hand, carbon negativity requires a country to actively remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than it emits.
India’s proposal, to be presented at COP28, emphasizes the need for developed nations to become net-negative emitters before 2050. This approach aligns with the goal of achieving global net-zero emissions by 2050 while allowing developing nations to continue using their available natural resources for growth and development.
Discussions at COP28 are taking place against a backdrop of increasing extreme weather-related events, including heatwaves and erratic monsoons. Scientists have been calling for immediate action to mitigate climate change. India’s proposal to shift the focus from setting deadlines for phasing out fossil fuels to reducing overall carbon emissions through “abatement and mitigation technologies” reflects its commitment to addressing climate challenges while respecting its development needs.
India has already made significant climate commitments, including operating half of its installed power capacity using non-fossil sources. The country has also set a target to reduce the ratio of greenhouse emissions to gross domestic product to 45% of its 2005 level by 2030. These commitments reflect India’s efforts to transition to cleaner energy sources and reduce its environmental footprint.
At a G20 summit in New Delhi, member countries acknowledged the need to phase down unabated coal power. This acknowledgment marked a significant step forward in climate negotiations, with the G20 countries accounting for over 80% of global emissions. However, they did not set specific timelines or emission reduction goals. This recognition was particularly important as coal-dependent economies, including India, have historically resisted discussions about ending coal use. Instead, they have called for developed economies to reduce their use of gas.
One of the key challenges faced by India in agreeing to a timeline for ending coal usage is the nation’s significant reliance on coal for power generation. Even though India has increased its non-fossil capacity to 44% of its total installed power generation capacity, thermal power stations still provide 73% of the country’s electricity. India contends that coal will remain a primary energy source for the foreseeable future, even as storage and abatement technologies continue to evolve.
The COP28 summit is scheduled to take place from November 30 to December 12. It will provide a platform for discussions on various climate-related issues, including India’s proposal for developed nations to commit to carbon negativity by 2050. While the discussions are ongoing and India’s stance is yet to be finalized, the country’s perspective adds an essential dimension to the global climate debate.
India’s proposal for developed nations to become carbon-negative by 2050 represents a novel approach to addressing climate change. It offers a unique perspective that balances environmental concerns with the developmental needs of emerging economies. As the world grapples with the urgent challenges of climate change, the upcoming COP28 summit provides an opportunity for nations to collaborate and find innovative solutions to achieve global climate goals while respecting the specific circumstances of each nation. India’s stance emphasizes the importance of a flexible approach to climate action that accommodates the diverse needs of countries in their pursuit of sustainable development.
Reporting by Emad Martin