In the climate negotiations areas of interest to developing countries are not covered or sparsely covered, while other areas are over-regulated. For instance, in COP27, there seems to be a concerted effort to fraudulently change the basic structure of the Climate Treaty.
The concept of “Carbon Budget” has progressively emerged from the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),
Like a household budget, climate scientists define “Carbon budget” as the number of greenhouse gases that can be “spent” – or emitted, considering global warming. Exceeding this threshold could cause global temperatures to reach dangerous levels.
Therefore, carbon budget implies that a country must limit its carbon emissions, in order to meet its temperature reduction target. As a result, there cannot be a single universal deadline to phase out coal use.
What are the problems with the current climate negotiation process?
- Lack of awareness among developed countries: Citizens in developed countries are not even aware that two-thirds of their national emissions of carbon dioxide come from their diet, transport, and residential and commercial sectors. All these together constitute a major share of the developed country’s GDP.
- Ignores global well-being: Global well-being will require a) Urbanisation of the developing country’s population, b) Fossil fuels for infrastructure and energy needs of developing countries to achieve global well-being.
- Need essential supplies which emit CO2: The developing countries need vast quantities of cement and steel for infrastructure as they urbanise.
- Does not address the dilemma of developing countries: Developing countries such as India are both victims and perpetrators of Climate Change. In such a scenario, separating their roles, especially in the context of financing is complicated. For instance, many nations have suggested that India and China should be part of the contributing list of nations to the L&D fund.
What are the reasons for climate injustice?
- Climate injustice flows from the negotiations and not from the text of the Climate Treaty
- First, the process adopted the structure of international law in a manner that rejected historical responsibility for a continuing problem, and steadily shifted the burden to China and India.
- Second, the agenda was set around globalised material flows described as global warming (the symptom), and not wasteful use of energy.
- Third, public finance is used as a means to secure a political objective, and not to solve the problem itself. For instance, the $100 billion mitigation and adaptation fund promised in Paris has not materialised. Meanwhile, estimates suggest that about $200 billion a year is needed now and that will rise to about $300 billion a year by 2030.
- Fourth, the longer term trend has been ignored. Asia’s emissions with half the world’s population will rise to 40% in 2035. This will create pressure to further reduce emissions and displace their human rights.
- In the recent COP27, there has been no consensus on the obligation of industrial countries to compensate vulnerable countries for loss and damage fund.
What India can do to mitigate climate change when climate negotiations are poor?
India should a) Combine technology transfers and soft loans from multi-lateral institutions, b) Adopt market solutions for climate actions, c) Carefully design cess schemes to discourage GHG emissions, d) Improve the domestic fuel economy, e) Accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles, f) Levy a carbon tax at the point of emission, and g) Raise the economy’s overall energy efficiency.