scorecardresearch
Monday, Dec 05, 2022

COP26 completed some unfinished tasks. But it failed to secure funding commitments from developed nations

While stepping up efforts to meet these challenges, India must continue to press the developed countries to meet their climate finance commitments and resist pressure to cut down its own developmental imperatives.

COP26 stretched into extra time because India, China, Iran, Venezuela and Cuba rejected a clause asking for “phasing-out unabated coal power and inefficient fossil fuel subsidies”.

After the debacle at COP25 in Madrid in 2019, questions were asked about the relevance of the UNFCCC’s processes. The UN climate agency has managed to redeem itself somewhat at COP26. The conference, which concluded in Glasgow on November 13, resolved the long-pending issue of carbon markets that had held back the finalisation of rules for the implementation of the Paris Pact. In a major concession to India, China and Brazil, the Glasgow Accord allows countries to carry forward the Kyoto Protocol’s carbon credits earned after 2012. A two-year programme to define a global goal for adaptation to climate change carries the potential to remove another sticking point of the Paris Accord — framing uniform criteria for adaptation initiatives is difficult because their benefits are local, unlike global warming mitigation efforts that can bring universal benefits. But the deal has precious little for vulnerable nations desperate for funding to deal with climate vagaries. Developed countries have defaulted on the 2020 deadline, set in 2009, to deliver $100 billion annually in climate finance. The Glasgow Declaration’s mild admonition that only “urges developed country parties to urgently and significantly scale up their provision of climate finance” left the vulnerable countries and emerging economies disappointed.

COP26 stretched into extra time because India, China, Iran, Venezuela and Cuba rejected a clause asking for “phasing-out unabated coal power and inefficient fossil fuel subsidies”. The final declaration carries an amendment moved by India, and backed by China, in which the phrase, “phasing-out” is replaced by “phased-down”. This “dilution” disappointed several countries, but they gave their assent, nonetheless, signaling Delhi’s growing heft in climate diplomacy. At Glasgow, India upscaled its renewable energy (RE) ambitions, pledged to reduce the carbon intensity of its economy by 2030 and announced that it will be a net-zero emissions economy by 2070. Delhi also took a step towards building bridges with climate-vulnerable countries by launching The One Sun, One World Grid — the first international network of solar power grids.

Delhi would, however, do well to read the last-minute change in the Glasgow Declaration’s language as a reprieve. If the history of climate negotiations is anything to go by, pressure on India to cut down fossil use is likely to mount. The country’s RE projections are based on installed capacity — meeting the energy needs of people through renewables will require technological upscaling and administrative reforms. While stepping up efforts to meet these challenges, India must continue to press the developed countries to meet their climate finance commitments and resist pressure to cut down its own developmental imperatives.

This editorial first appeared in the print edition on November 15, 2021 under the title ‘Heavy weather’

Subscriber Only Stories
UPSC Key- December 5, 2022: Why you should read ‘Iran’s morality police’ ...Premium
UPSC Essentials | Key terms of the past week with MCQsPremium
Amid Bengaluru gangrape investigation, lens on Rapido: how does the bike ...Premium
When Bhagat Singh got a pat from Bal Gangadhar TilakPremium

First published on: 15-11-2021 at 03:55:11 am
Next Story

Unlike BSP and SP, Congress is fighting for people: Priyanka

Latest Comment
Post Comment
Read Comments
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
close