Carbon Neutrality Vs Climate Justice – UPSC GS3

Developed countries are using the call for net zero emissions or carbon neutrality by 2050, to evade the historical responsibility. They are using such targets to transfer their burdens to developing countries.
  • Many countries are supporting the idea of becoming Carbon neutral (net-zero emissions) by 2050.
  • However, the idea of developing Carbon neutrality has the following issues:
    • Feasibility and efficacy of such a strategy for all countries is doubtful
    • It is against the basic tenets of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR-RC) based on historical responsibility have been the bedrock of climate actions under the UNFCCC.
    • CBDR-RC is also the central pillar of India’s claim for climate justice.
How developed countries are deferring their climate justice responsibilities?
  • Industrialization in the developed countries is responsible for a large part of climate change issues. However, people of the developing countries are suffering disproportionately more from its impacts,
  • While the developed countries have used much of the carbon space for their development, they are arguing to cut their emissions emanating from even basic needs of the developing countries.
  • Climate action of major developed countries is incompatible with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
  • Second commitment period of  Kyoto Protocol commits developed countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 18 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2020. However, it entered into force just one day before its expiry.
  • Effort made by developed countries to deliver finance, technology transfer, and capacity-building support to developing countries is also ineffective. They have failed to mobilise at least $100 billion per year by 2020 that they agreed for.
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