An Indian study underscored the shortcomings of rich countries in pre-2020 climate action, showing that the US, Canada, Japan and Russia have stumbled big time. India News

An Indian study underscored the shortcomings of rich countries in pre-2020 climate action, showing that the US, Canada, Japan and Russia have stumbled big time. India News

NEW DELHI: Days after India asked rich countries in the G20 meet to bring down their per capita emissions to the global average by 2030, a new study on Wednesday flagged how many developed countries are in their pre-2020 commitments. have failed miserably. , including all G7 nations, have recorded only a 3.7% drop in their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from 1990 levels by 2019.
The study, first of its kind in a developing country by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), a New Delhi-based think tank, could be an eye-opener for all the stakeholders who are pitching for the higher of 2020. Mitigation targets of all emitters, including India, for the subsequent period without actually looking at what historical polluters did during their previous commitment period till 2020.
Although these countries, as well as developed countries in the erstwhile USSR, collectively reported a 14.8% decline in emissions in 2019 against the target of 18% below 1990 levels, they did not reduce their emissions over the period 2008-2020. They emitted a much higher amount of carbon during the period than they expected – meaning they consumed ‘carbon space’ that might otherwise have been available to developing and poor countries for their developmental needs.
“There should be trust and confidence in the multilateral process. Therefore, it is important to remember and review what promises were made and whether they were fulfilled in the period before 2020,” said Richa Sharma, additional secretary in the environment ministry, which looks after climate change issues.
Making his remarks at the virtual release ceremony of the study, Sharma said, “A clear and fair assessment of finances along with pre-2020 commitments and mitigation is the need of the hour.”
The study attempts to clearly elucidate the performance of developed countries in the previous commitment periods (2008-12 and 2013–2020). CEEW also released a ranking of 43 developed countries with this study, based on their sincerity to climate action and mitigation efforts in the pre-2020 climate regime.
Sweden, the UK, Belgium and Denmark top the list while other major economies such as the US, Canada, Australia and Russia are in the lower half of their pre-2020 actions.
The CEEW study highlighted that US non-participation in both commitment periods (2008-12 and 2013-2020) had several adverse effects on global climate action, including the withdrawal of other developed countries from the Kyoto Protocol.
In addition to the US, the largest historical emitter, three other major polluters – Canada, Russia and Japan – had also abandoned climate actions under one or both commitment periods.
“Emissions from non-participating countries accounted for 47% of all developed countries’ emissions between 2008–12. This figure rose to 71% between 2013-20,” says the study – ‘Unpacking pre-2020 climate commitments: who delivered, how much, and how will the gaps?’
Against the backdrop of poor performance of rich countries in reducing their promised carbon footprint during the pre-2020 period, CEEW CEO Arunabha Ghosh said, “While all countries should consider increasing ambition, the unfulfilled promises remain unfulfilled. The burden and disproportionate use of carbon space cannot be burdened by the developing countries (for post-2020 climate action).
India, in fact, raised the issue during the G20 ministerial meeting last week, setting the tone for the stance of developing countries ahead of the 26th session of the United Nations Climate Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, UK in November, where 2020. Action before the United States and mobilizing adequate finance for climate action will dominate the discourse.
“We must ensure that history does not repeat itself, and that countries work together to effectively tackle climate change. Our hope is that our evaluation of past efforts will lead to greater leadership, trust and transparency in future climate negotiations. which will start from COP26,” said Shikha Bhasin, Senior Program Lead, CEEW.
She said, “This is vital to ensure a just, equitable and prosperous future. For example, countries that are sitting out of commitment periods prior to 2020 can compensate by purchasing unsold certified emissions reductions (CERs) or by voluntarily canceling unearned carbon allowances.”

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