. Developed countries have an extremely poor track record on climate action. In keeping with this trend, the recently declared enhanced pledges for climate action, including declarations of net-zero emissions by 2050, also fall woefully short of what is required to ensure the safety of the planet. The pressure on developing countries to “do more” and declare similar net-zero pledges is, therefore, nothing but shifting the burden of climate action onto the backs of the world’s poorest populations.
Net-zero emissions refer to the balancing of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions, either globally or in a region, with anthropogenic removals of the GHG so that the net effect is zero emissions.
- The push for such declarations from all countries began around 2019 at COP-25, when there was one year left for the Paris Agreementto come into effect.
- The very idea of net-zero declarations by individual countries and regions emerged from the need to hide the inaction of developed countries for the past 30 years.
- Even these declarations for the future are far from adequate to ensure the safety of the planet. The “enhanced pledges” of the US, UK and EU (27) for 2030, and their currently declared intention of achieving net-zero emissions around 2050, imply that just these two major regions will consume over 30% of even the remaining carbon budget.
The world needs much more ambition from rich countries(developed countries) so that less developed countries get some room to develop. The world needs to eliminate the multiple forms of drudgery and deprivation that a large majority of our people are subjected to. This requires ensuring access to modern, affordable, and reliable amenities and services to all. It is also critical to prepare for a world that is quite likely to be more than 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer. Our first defence against the climatic impacts in such a world will be development.
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