Coal ‘phasing out’ taken from US-China COP26 statement, criticism of India unfair, officials say | India News – Community News
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Coal ‘phasing out’ taken from US-China COP26 statement, criticism of India unfair, officials say | India News

NEW DELHI: To counter criticism from developed countries that India is the last-minute spoiler at the recent COP26 regarding its “phasing out of coal,” senior officials pushed back, saying such comments are ill-informed and dishonest. The term “phasing out,” which replaced the “phasing out” of coal emissions, was taken from the US-China statement the day before.
Officials said India objected to only mentioning coal and not oil and gas, which is mainly used by developed countries. That puts countries like India and China in the dock, while also providing a loophole for Western countries. Officials also said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comments on net-zero and other climate promises should not be confused with India’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) – the Prime Minister set “national targets”, while the revised NDC is a technical document. According to sources, the prime minister has made an “ambitious statement”. “It has surprised many. PM said if you want higher ambition in mitigation, there needs to be more ambition in funding and adaptation. Ambition cannot be one-sided,” she added.
Action Aid USA policy chief Brandon Wu summed up the gist of “injustice” in a Twitter thread, where he described Western actions as “climate colonialism”.
The text focuses on “unabated coal power and inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, which leave GIANT CCS loopholes (and ‘efficient’ FF subsidies) and completely ignore oil and gas. India previously suggested it would tackle ALL fossil fuels fairly. But a just phasing out of fossil fuels would put most of the burden on the US and rich countries… Instead, the #COP26 existing language has heavy implications for developing countries like India and numerous loopholes for the continuation of US activities on the field of fossil fuels. ”
India and China collaborated on the coal language, officials said. Unfortunately, India was in the spotlight when the environment minister was asked to read out the final result, she added.
Critics have pointed to India’s “naivety” of letting China go while India took the brick, despite showing the utmost commitment to climate mitigation goals at the summit. “We objected to the overemphasis on mitigation versus funding and adaptation,” sources said, adding that India had consistently objected to targeting coal subsidies.
However, there is another view that if India had not asserted itself, the government would have been criticized for not being vigilant about the country’s interests. The government believes the goals set out by the prime minister for 2030 provide strong incentives for western countries to take their side of the deal.
The BASIC statement, officials said, made it clear that India would not agree to phase out the coal subsidies — India was joined by South Africa, Australia, Indonesia, Venezuela, Nigeria and China, among others. A compromise was worked out to bring the language close to the G-20 statement, she added, “with national safeguards and adequate protection for poor and vulnerable countries”. In the end, “we tried to find consensus,” they said.
The final document reversed the “phasing out” of coal subsidies at the request of small island states, and kept the “phasing out” for coal.