Not caving in to mounting international pressure, India’s environment secretary R.P. Gupta says net zero was not the solution to climate crisis. He believes it is how much carbon you are going to put in the atmosphere before reaching net zero that is more important.
This comes just ahead of representatives of nearly 200 countries set to meet in Glasgow, Scotland in the United Kingdom from Oct 31 – Nov 12 for climate talks to strengthen action to tackle global warming under the 2015 Paris Agreement.
Experts define net zero as the balance between the amount of greenhouse has produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere. The excess of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is triggering harmful global warming, thus reducing the amount of these gases should help tackle the climate change. Reaching net zero requires countries to balance the amount of greenhouse gases they emit with the amount they remove. It basically means that all man-made greenhouse gas emissions must be removed from the atmosphere through reduction measures, thus reducing the Earth’s net climate balance, after removal via natural and artificial sink to zero.
India has committed to cutting the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33%-35% by 2030 from 2005 levels, achieving a 24% reduction by 2016. However, some experts believe India could consider lowering its emissions intensity by as much as 40% dependent on finance and whether it has access to new technologies. India is the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases and is still largely dependent on fossil fuels like coal and oil. Moreover, India’s energy demand is expected to rise sharply over the next decade as the economy continues on its growth trajectory.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be gracing the COP26. He would highlight India’s track record on climate action at the meeting. “I will also highlight the need to comprehensively address climate change issues including equitable distribution of carbon space, support for mitigation and adaption and resilience building measures, mobilization of finance, technology transfer and importance of sustainable lifestyles for green and inclusive growth.”
Bhupendra Yadav, Environment Minister, said India was on track to achieve targets set at the 2015 Paris Conference and left the door open to revising them. “All options are on the table.” Yadav said he would measure the success of the Glasgow conference by how much it delivered on climate finance to help the developing world cut their emissions while ensuring economic growth. India, at the COP26, will also emphasize climate justice and ask wealthier countries to transfer technology and finance needed to help developing countries deal with the fallout from global warming.