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Alok Sharma, president-designate of United Nations Conference of Parties (COP26), said he hoped India would consider more ambitious emissions targets. He is visiting India as part of a larger international tour, building consensus among nations for concrete outcomes ahead of the 26th round of climate talks.
- Carbon neutrality is a major theme for this year’s climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland. It will be closely watched as to how many nations can commit to a net-zero target and by when. It is critical to ensure that the planet doesn’t heat up an additional half a degree by 2100.
- Net-zero or carbon neutrality is when more carbon is sucked out from the atmosphere or prevented from being emitted than what a country emits.
- $100 million climate financing: Another issue is the over-$100 billion that developed countries pledged to developing countries for financing clean energy investments and mitigation. Progress towards achieving this target has been slow. Climate finance reached $78.9 billion in 2018.
Global commitments on net-zero
- By 2050: A little over 120 countries have committed, with varying degrees of firmness, to reaching carbon neutrality by 2050.
- USA has said it would achieve net-zero by 2050 and nearly halve emissions by 2030.
- After 2050: Five countries have net-zero pledges set for after 2050, – China, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Australia and Singapore.
- China, the world’s biggest emitter, has committed to peaking its emissions before 2030 and achieving net-zero by 2060.
India’s stand on net-zero
India is among the major countries that haven’t committed to a 2050 plan due to the following reasons:
- En route to overachieving its NDC targets set under Paris Agreement: It’s one of the countries that has delivered on one of the 2015 Paris Agreement’s main goals of ensuring that its emissions don’t put the globe on a road to heating one degree more than present by the turn of the century.
- Lowest per capita emissions: Further, India’s position is that it has among the lowest per capita emissions.
- No compromise on economic growth: Also, India has stated that it is not responsible for the climate crisis, which the science has established is due to historical emissions by developed countries and cannot compromise on ensuring economic growth of its vast citizenry.
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