The signals emerging from the global climate summit in Egypt are quite disappointing. There is continued wrangling among the nations on the strategy to tide over the climate crisis. After two weeks of intense negotiations among 190 nations at the 27th United Nations Climate Summit – COP27- the UN came up with the first draft of the climate deal that failed to meet expectations. To begin with, it has ignored India’s proposal for ‘phasing down of all fossil fuels,’ even though it was supported by the European Union and other countries. There were no details on a loss and damage fund for the most climate-vulnerable countries. Though the draft deal will undergo some changes before the conclusion of the summit, there appears to be no hope of any major breakthrough.
However, this is no time for finger-pointing and blame games. Global emissions are at their highest level in history – and rising. Climate impacts are decimating economies and societies. The time to act is now. According to the latest scientific data, the world is already at 1.1 degrees above pre-industrial levels and is slated to cross at least 2.3 degrees of warming if drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are not made. India’s stance in this regard is based on the well-established premise that in the world order of industrialisation, the West is far ahead of the developing countries.
And, since its march to progress came largely on the back of fossil fuels, the developed countries are chiefly responsible for global warming and resulting disasters. They owe a carbon debt to the developing countries which are still struggling to meet their development goals and, alongside, have to contend with decarbonisation efforts.