NEW DELHI: Reminding affluent nations of their responsibilities, India on Monday said the delayed climate action and lack of leadership from developed countries have increased the cost of mitigation and adaptation in developing countries, and jointly flagged how “calling all countries to adopt ‘net-zero’ targets by 2050 is inequitable”. Articulating India’s stand on ‘net-zero’ at a time when rich nations led by the US and UK have been pitching for bringing all countries on board for the 2050 timeline, environment minister Bhupender Yadav said the ‘like-minded developing countries’ (LMDC) should “closely work together to protect their interests and ensure that global efforts for ‘net-zero’ should be guided by the principles of the UNFCCC and its Paris Agreement”, and also by national circumstances and priorities. He was speaking at a ministerial meeting of the LMDC which is a climate negotiation group of 25 developing countries including India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. The meeting was virtually hosted by Bolivia ahead of the upcoming 26th session of the UN climate conference to be held in Glasgow, UK from October 31 to November 12. “Despite their lack of ambition shown in the pre-2020 period, as well as in their Paris Agreement NDCs (climate action commitments), major developed countries are now pushing to shift the goalposts of the Paris Agreement from what has already been agreed by calling for all countries to adopt net-zero targets by 2050. This new ‘goal’ which is being advanced runs counter to the Paris Agreement and is anti-equity and against climate justice,” said the ministerial statement, endorsed by the ministers of LMDC member countries. It further said, “Demands for ‘net zero emissions for all countries by 2050 will exacerbate further the existing inequities between developed and developing countries. Indeed, the most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on ‘The Physical Science Basis’ revealed that historical cumulative emissions are the cause of the climate crisis that the world faces today.” Yadav in his address noted that the world needs rapid and transformative actions, in view of the fact that the remaining global carbon budget is meagre and will be exhausted within this decade at the current rate of global emissions. He also emphasised that the commitments of carbon neutrality and to raise ambitions in nationally determined contributions to be in line with climate justice and principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR-RC). The LMDC members in the meeting jointly expressed their full support to COP26 Presidency and willingness to work closely and constructively with all other nations and stakeholders towards a successful COP26 through the multilateral process that is conducted in an open and transparent, inclusive, party-driven and consensus-based manner.

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