Setting the tone at Glasgow, the job ahead in Delhi

News: Net zero target set by India has cemented its position as a world leader in global climate change policy landscape.

Now, keeping in line with the spirit of climate justice, rich countries need to veer away from their unsustainable lifestyles and wasteful consumption patterns.

India too needs to focus on sustainable well-being.

How the Glasgow Climate Pact indicates a changing world order?

The carbon colonialism of the West was called out by the poor countries at Glasgow when the UK, along with G7 countries, tried to push for a phase out of coal in the final pact.

India and China came together on the last day of the COP26 at Glasgow to effect a change in the language of the pact from ‘phase out’ of the coal-based power to ‘phase down’.

That G7 had to accommodate this change indicates the coming of a world order in which the G7 no longer sets the rules.

Must Read: Coal controversy at the Glasgow summit
What is the way forward?

– Reduced consumption by the West: Consumption of affluent households both determines and accelerates an increase of emissions of carbon dioxide. In the West, these factors have overridden the beneficial effects of changes in technology. This is visible in the increasing carbon footprint. Thus, the West must begin by reducing its consumption.

India:

– In parallel with the infrastructure and clean technology thrust, the consumption patterns need to be shifted away from resource and carbon-intensive goods and services. For instance: mobility from cars and aircraft towards buses and trains, and nutrition from animal and processed food towards a seasonal plant-based diet.

– Along with reducing demand, resource and carbon intensity of consumption has to decrease, e.g. expanding renewable energy, electrifying cars and public transport and increasing energy and material efficiency.

More equal distribution of wealth with a minimum level of prosperity and affordable energy use for all: For instance, housing and doing away with biomass for cooking.

Floor’ and ‘ceiling’ of sustainable well-being: The Govt must set up focused research groups for the conceptual frame of sustainable well-being. It should analyze the factors of affluent overconsumption. It should further create awareness around how much energy we really need for a decent level of well-being.

– After the Stockholm Declaration on the Global Environment, the Constitution was amended in 1976 to include Protection and Improvement of Environment as a fundamental duty. Further, the Parliament used Article 253 to enact the Environment Protection Act to implement the decisions reached at the Stockholm Conference.

Under Article 253, Parliament has the power to make laws for implementing international treaties and agreements and can legislate on the preservation of the natural environment.

The decisions taken at COP26 need to be enabled by a new set of legislation around ecological limits, energy and land use, including the efficient distribution and use of electricity, urban design etc.

Must Read: Glasgow Climate Pact (GCP) – Explained, pointwise

Source: This post is based on the article “Setting the tone at Glasgow, the job ahead in Delhi” published in The Hindu on 26th Nov 2021.

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