Indian climate research scientists criticise Glasgow Climate Pact

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The CSE researchers have claimed that CoP26 should have acknowledged historical emissions and not diluted or erased them
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New Delhi: Indian climate research scientists have come out strong against the Glasgow Climate Pact that was adopted as the Conference of Parties 26 (CoP26) after two weeks of negotiations with governments.

“Has the Glasgow Climate Pact succeeded in going far enough to keep the world below a 1.5 Degree C temperature rise – necessary to ensure that our world can avoid the worst and catastrophic impacts of a changing climate? The answer is a resounding ‘no’,” says Sunita Narain, CSE director general of Centre for Science & Environment.

 CSE researchers say while CoP26 acknowledged that the threat of climate change is real and that urgent actions are needed, it did nothing to raise the commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions; instead, it highlighted the deep distrust between the already rich and the emerging world, and did little to acknowledge that combating climate change requires cooperation at a scale never seen before.

 “The Pact’s fundamental and fatal flaw is in the very first page – where it says, rather dismissively, that ‘it notes the importance for some of the concept of climate justice’. We cannot erase the fact that certain countries – the US, EU-27, UK, Canada, Australia, Japan and Russia and joined now by China – have consumed roughly 70 per cent of the carbon budget, the space in the atmosphere that is available to keep the world below the 1.5 Degree C temperature rise”, says Narain.

She stressed that while the world has run out carbon budget, some 70 per cent of the world’s people still need the right to development. As these countries grow, they will add emissions and take the world to catastrophic levels of temperature rise. It is for this reason; climate justice is not an add-on concept for some, but the pre-requisite for an effective and ambitious agreement. This lack of understanding is at the core of the problem.

She adds, “The Glasgow Climate Pact’s only achievement – if you can call it that – is that it acknowledges and reiterates the need for financial support for adaptation – but it does nothing more than this.”

The CSE researchers have claimed that CoP26 should have acknowledged historical emissions and not diluted or erased them. Climate justice has to be the bedrock of action.

CSE also criticized that fact that China, being one of the largest emitter, has not been given any CO2 reduction targets, despite being the world’s largest emitter. It will take up 33 per cent of the remaining carbon budget for this decade.  

“China will not be carbon-neutral unless it curbs its coal power production. While it says it will not build coal-fired power projects abroad, it is silent about such plants at home. India needs to be de-hyphenated from China; China needs to be de-hyphenated from G-77, the coalition of developing countries”, said the research organisation.

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