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Rich countries have not shown a fair share of emissions reduction – a global problem


  • Opinions By Meena Raman (Penang, Malaysia)
  • Inter Press Service

The latest report from the Physical Science of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows that there is a residual carbon, with a 50% chance of limiting temperature rise to a path of 1.5 degrees, given historical and increasing emissions. The rest of the budget is 500 gigatonnes of CO2 and the world emits about 42 gigatonnes of CO2 per year.

Which means that within a decade this budget will be exhausted, making it difficult to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Therefore, it is important to acknowledge and acknowledge that especially developed countries have not shown their leadership in taking their lead. Fair share of required emissions cut. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Cancun COP 16 in 2010 acknowledged that the bulk of the historic global emissions of greenhouse gases originated in developed countries and, due to this historic responsibility, developed countries must accept. Leads in tackling climate change and its adverse effects. We need to understand that under the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement, equity policy and the ‘common-but-differentiated responsibilities and related powers’ (CBDRRC) are fundamental to understanding the differentiating obligations between developed and developing countries.

Moreover, developed countries have failed to reduce their emissions despite their decisions.

The failure of developed countries to deliver on the promised emissions reduction

From 2008 to 2012, the first commitment period (1CP) under the Kyoto Protocol, only the overall emissions of Annex 1 countries were 5% lower than the 1990 level. Despite this very low ambition, the United States (US) abandoned the protocol. The second pledge to increase their emissions reduction target from 18 per cent by 2020 to at least 25-40 per cent by 2020 was never implemented by the developed countries in 2012. The target post has been moved by developed countries to plug emissions gaps – turning the CBDR-RC policy into a ‘common and shared responsibility’, without any mention of historical responsibility or equity between North and South. In fact, between 1990 and 2018, developed countries achieved a total emissions decline of only 13% between 1990 and 2018. Western European countries, the United States, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Canada did not reduce their emissions by 1990. And 2020. Instead, their overall emissions increased slightly from 13,227.97 MTCO2eq in 1990 to 13,331.23 MTCO2eq in 2020. So, instead of reducing actual deep emissions to zero so far, developed countries have achieved targets without targets. Years, which again reflects the reductions that are too late and it will soon deplete the remaining carbon budget. Therefore, we must demand real and rapid zero from developed countries, not distant goals. Furthermore, the net zero target means there will be dependence on carbon-offsets, where developed countries will pay developing countries to remove emissions, which will go to the credit of developed countries.

This means that developing countries need to further reduce emissions to their countries, because offset credits sold to developed countries cannot be counted as part of their NDCs, as carbon credits cannot be doubled and doubled. There is no room for offsetting, and what needs to happen urgently in the rich world is very deep and rapid de-carbonization. Then, there is the much-needed money and technology transfer that developing countries need to provide as soon as possible to convert them into low-carbon pathways. By 2020, USD 100 billion per year, which was pledged by developed countries, has been reduced, and Glasgow needs to see real delivery and deadlines for implementing this goal. Even these 100 billion US dollars per year targets are far from the needs of developing countries, which have indicated the need for USD 5.8-5.9 trillion to implement their NDCs by 2030. As mentioned earlier, the group as G20 is not recognized under UNFCCC and PA but what is recognized is developed and developing countries. This does not require the leadership of the G20 but the leadership of the G7 – in accordance with the Convention and the PA.

Developed and developing countries of the G20 are not seen as having the same responsibilities, leadership abilities and capabilities. This would be contrary to the equity and CBDRRC policies of UNFCCC and PA. Indeed, the decisions made in Paris need to be respected and honored, and the goal posts of the developed world need not be changed as mentioned above. It is true that developed countries in particular need to play their fair share in reducing emissions and also provide the money and technology needed to repay their climate debt. Also, we need to keep in mind that it is not just emissions reduction or mitigation that is important. Also important is adaptation and resolving losses and losses (which go beyond adaptation, such as an extreme weather event that wipes out a country’s economy). These are important issues for developing countries, where adaptation and practical action on loss and damage are enabled, including increasing funding in this regard. China has announced its goal of 2060 carbon neutrality. India is expected to announce an updated NDC. We cannot put China and India in the same position as the developed world. Emissions are higher due to the populations of China and India. On a per capita basis, they are still much lower than in developed countries. We don’t know about Australia and Russia. It is quite clear that these countries will not come out of dependence on fossil fuels any time soon. Indeed, instead of phasing out rich fossil fuels, what we see is the continued production and expansion of fossil fuels, as evidenced by the UNEP Production Gap Report. This is really worrying, because there is no excuse for delaying the steps of the developed world. This is their delayed action which is mainly responsible for the current global warming, which is made clear by the historical excessive use of their carbon budgets, as shown by the IPCC’s AR 6.

Meena Raman The Head of Programs of the Third World Network is headquartered in Penang, Malaysia.


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© Inter Press Service (2021) – All rights reservedSource: Inter Press Service





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