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regular-article-logo Saturday, 02 March 2024

Rich nations should completely reduce their carbon footprint 'well before' 2050: PM Modi

The Prime Minister says that multilateral development banks should provide affordable finance not just for development but also for climate action

PTI Dubai Published 01.12.23, 06:57 PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks during the opening of high-level segment for Heads of States at the COP28, in Dubai.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks during the opening of high-level segment for Heads of States at the COP28, in Dubai. PTI picture.

Rich nations should completely reduce their carbon footprint "well before" 2050, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday while calling on the world to deliver a concrete outcome on finance to help developing and poor nations combat climate change.

Addressing a session on 'Transforming Climate Finance' at COP28 here, Modi said India expects concrete and real progress on the New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG), a fresh post-2025 global climate finance goal.

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"Developed countries should completely reduce their carbon footprint well before 2050," he said.

Rich nations pledged in 2009 to raise USD 100 billion annually by 2020 to assist developing countries in combating and adjusting to climate change. Despite extensions to 2025, these nations have not met this commitment.

COP28 aims to establish the groundwork for a fresh post-2025 global climate finance goal, succeeding the USD 100 billion target. Countries aim to finalise this new goal by COP29 in 2024.

Modi said that there should be no shortfall of money in the Green Climate Fund and the Adaptation Fund and that these be immediately replenished.

The Green Climate Fund, which was proposed at the 2009 climate talks in Copenhagen and began raising money in 2014, hasn't come close to its goal of USD 100 billion annually.

The Adaptation Fund is a UN-backed fund that provides grants and loans to help developing countries adjust to climate impacts.

Released ahead of the Dubai climate talks, the United Nations' "Adaptation Gap Report 2023 said despite the clear signs of accelerating climate risks and impacts worldwide, the adaptation finance gap is widening and now stands at between USD 194 billion and USD 366 billion per year.

Modi also said that multilateral development banks should provide affordable finance not just for development but also for climate action.

The prime minister said India and other countries in the Global South have contributed little to the climate crisis but are impacted the most.

"Despite the lack of resources, these nations are committed to climate action," he said.

"Climate finance and technology are important to fulfil the aspirations of the Global South," the prime minister said, adding that poor and developing countries expect all possible help from rich nations to address the climate crisis.

As part of its G20 Presidency this year, India drew consensus from the world’s major economies for a Green Development Pact which noted that developing countries will need USD 5.8-5.9 trillion in the pre-2030 period, particularly to implement their Nationally Determined Contributions or national climate plans.

Developed countries’ 2030 national climate plans to limit average temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius collectively represent a 36 per cent reduction in emissions from their 2019 levels. This is less than the 43 per cent reduction required to achieve the goal, according to a study by the Delhi-based independent think tank Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW).

Even if all developed countries were to reach net zero (where they don't produce more greenhouse gases than they remove) by 2050, they would require more than four times the average annual reductions they achieved from 1990 to 2020.

CEEW estimates that even in a net-zero-by-2050 scenario, developed countries would collectively emit over 40–50 per cent of the remaining global carbon budget left for the 1.5 degrees Celsius warming target, even though they are home to less than a fifth of the world’s population.

Climate science defines carbon budget as the amount of greenhouse gases that can be emitted for a given level of global warming (1.5 degrees Celsius in this case).

Developed countries have already consumed more than 80 per cent of the global carbon budget, leaving developing and poor countries with very little carbon space for the future.

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