At COP27, move the needle on climate action | 29th October 2022 | UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis

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What's the article about?

  • It talks about what to expect at the upcoming COP27 of the UNFCCC.

Relevance:

  • GS3: Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation; Prelims

What's the crux of the article?

  • India and other developing countries are today facing many issues such as damage to growth from COVID-19, Russia’s war in Ukraine, and the global economy’s downturn.
  • But the issue of climate change is far more bigger and has catastrophic long term impacts.
  • In this light COP27 becomes important to deal with existing issues that have halted progress on the climatic front.

Challenges:

  • Unwillingness of developed countries to accept their historical responsibility
  • Unwillingness of developed countries to rectify decades of lopsided emissions by them
  • Continuous and heavy burning of fossil fuels by the top five emitters — China, the United States, India, Russia, and Japan
  • Lack of consensus on the financial mechanism.

Suggestions:

  • Rich countries have already shown that they can mobilise vast resources to tackle global emergencies.
  • They did this in the 2008–09 global financial crisis and spectacularly so in the $15 trillion committed in 2020 (by one estimate), by the major economies to fight COVID-19.
  • The same needs to be done for the climate change front, and COP27 must look forward to it.
  • COP27 should call for the extensive use of markets to help shift the global economy to a low-carbon path.
  • Significant carbon tax on the source of pollution should be imposed
  • Fossil fuel subsidies should be eliminated by all countries
  • Climate projects can be vastly scaled up by multilateral development banks, such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, all of which have strong climate-action mandates.

For India:

  • India’s reliance on fossil fuels is extremely high. High GDP growth, India’s biggest goal, just cannot be achieved in the face of runaway climate change.
  • India has set a target date of 2070 for net zero. But China has set 2060, though it is the world's leader in renewable energy and its share of coal and gas in energy production remains over 70%.
  • India should also advance its net zero target by one year i.e. 2060.

Way Forward:

  • COP27, which will be held at Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt (November 6-18), is a chance for the India to strongly back environmentally sustainable development in its national interest.



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