The COP26 climate meeting ended with a deal that talks about a ‘phasing out’ of coal. Several parties argue that India was among those seeking a change from ‘phasing out’ to ‘phasing out’ of the controversial fuel. But is the criticism really justified?
The outcome of COP26 in Glasgow is the first to focus on coal, not the whole range of fossil fuels. In fact, the overt focus on coal hid much of the developed world’s reliance on the main cause of emissions: oil and gas.
In the crunch talks, it was China that pushed more for the elimination of the terminology ‘coal phasing out’. India’s thesis was that a focus only on phasing out coal, not oil and gas, would affect the development of countries like themselves that depend on coal for fuel.
In fact, China’s advocacy of ‘phasing out’ coal came after it signed a coal deal with the US a few days ago.
The two countries had first used the term “phasing out” in their bilateral agreement passed midway through COP26. The ‘phasing out’ language has also been used in the joint statement issued by the two countries earlier during the Glasgow talks.
Also, after the final COP26 text was passed, US climate envoy John Kerry told a news conference. “You have to phase out coal before you can put an end to coal.”
While it was the US and China that had embraced the ‘coal phase out’ currency, India held a different view: that focusing solely on coal would have a disproportionate impact on developing countries. It wanted to phase out all fossil fuels. But such a just phasing out of fossil fuels would have put heavy pressure on the US and rich countries.
India proclaimed this inequality and was soon branded a ‘barrier’.
The reality is that India is the only G20 country on track to meet the goals set out in the Paris Agreement.
India has for years insisted that reducing its dependence on coal should be done in an equitable manner, bearing in mind the role of developed countries that have already emitted huge amounts of carbon from their coal use over the past decades, in fact the majority of the past decades. two centuries.
Some rich countries have used loopholes in global climate talks to keep the burden of action on the developing world.
As representatives of the US, China, India and the European Union became confused, the language in the coal ‘phasing out’ clause was changed to ‘phasing out’.
According to reports, China played a crucial role in pushing for softer language in the final minutes before the COP26 joint statement was released. Therefore, it seems unfair to hold India solely responsible for ‘diluted’ language.
India is on track to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement
In addition to fulfilling its own Paris Agreement commitments, India has also made major efforts to protect the least developed countries and the interests of the G77 countries to secure climate finance. COP26 has agreed to work on this.