‘Net Zero targets by 2050 against climate justice’

Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav virtually participates in the Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDC) Ministerial meeting on ‘Preparations for COP 26 on Climate Change – Expectations and Challenges’ in New Delhi on October 18, 2021. (PIB)

New Delhi:  The Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDC) Ministerial meeting on October 18, 2021, unanimously said that Net Zero targets by 2050 is inequitable and against climate justice”.

The LMCD is a group of around 25 developing countries from Asia and other regions that have a similar stand in the United Nations climate negotiations.

The meeting titled “Preparations for COP 26 on Climate Change – Expectations and Challenges” was hosted virtually by Bolivia ahead of the upcoming crucial 26th climate change conference to be held in Glasgow, UK from October 31 to November 12, 2021.

After the meeting, the LMCD Ministers issued a strong-worded joint statement that said: “Despite their lack of ambition shown in the  pre-2020  period,  as well as in their  Paris  Agreement  NDCs,  major developed countries are now pushing to shift the goalposts of the  Paris  Agreement from what have already been agreed by calling for all countries to adopt Net Zero targets by 2050. This new ‘goal’ which is being advanced runs counter to the Paris Agreement and is anti-equity and against climate justice.”

It added that “demands for ‘Net zero’ emissions for all countries by 2050 will exacerbate further the existing inequities between developed and developing countries”.

The LMCD maintained that during their own industrialization phase, the developed countries have overused their domestic carbon space and used those of developing countries. 

“Disregarding  this  historical cumulative and per capita cumulative carbon emissions by not reflecting it in their current emission reduction pledges under the Paris Agreement and by promoting distant  net-zero  targets  for  themselves  amount  to  furthering  carbon  injustice  and inequity.”

“Developed countries should, in acknowledgment of such historical cumulative and per capita cumulative carbon emissions, leave the remaining atmospheric space for the developmental rights of the developing world and aim for their full decarbonisation within this decade. If they continue to emit and occupy more atmospheric space for the next 30 years, the Paris Agreement’s global goals and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s objective will not be met,” said the statement.

Participating in the meeting, Union Minister for Environment Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav called for rapid reduction of emissions by developed countries in this decade.

The Minister noted that the world needs rapid and transformative actions, in view of the fact that the remaining global carbon budget is meager and will be exhausted within this decade at the current rate of global emissions.

He also noted that the commitments of carbon neutrality and to raise ambitions in nationally determined contributions to be in line with climate justice and principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR-RC).

The Environment Minister highlighted the ambitious climate actions taken up by India in areas of renewable energy, energy access, and efficiency, sustainable transport including e-mobility, sustainable agriculture, enhancing green cover, etc. He noted that India has achieved a reduction of 24% in emission intensity of its GDP between 2005 and 2016, thereby achieving its pre-2020 voluntary target.

The Minister pointed that the accelerated climate action by developing countries like India requires the contingent provision of climate finance, technology, and other means of implementation support. He also highlighted the importance of global partnerships and cooperation and requested the LMDC countries to join the initiatives of International Solar Alliance (ISA) and Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) launched by India. (Press Release)

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