A leader sets example. India, which assumed a leadership role by committing to the Paris Agreement despite countries like the US staying away, is now proving its mettle by setting an example.
According to the report in Times of India, India is the only country among G20 nations which is on track to meet what it had promised in 2015 under the Paris Agreement on climate change. In contrast, China, US, and EU have not kept track with respect to lowering their emission intensity.
The report noted that “India’s track record of being the only “2°C compatible” country was flagged in a report released on Wednesday by a coalition of 14 global thinktanks, including TERI, which showed that the other 19 leading and emerging economies were far from achieving their goals.”
Understanding Why It Is Important
A general impression that many might have is that India is the country that causes maximum carbon emission. But that is not true. It is the US that holds that position.
The evaluation of emission can’t be done in absolute numbers simply because one can’t equate consumption of 130 crores population with that of a country with 33 crore population. In this background, the United States is the highest producer of greenhouse gases when measured on a per capita basis. Even in an overall sense, China is the world’s largest producer.
Climate Change – India’s Moral High Ground
India made its official stance clear in COP 23 at Bonn, by stating that, “though India’s per capita emissions are only one-third of global average and its contribution to global stock of carbon dioxide is less than 3%, India has still moved ahead with implementation of path-breaking initiatives”.
In other words, though India is not the major emitter of greenhouse gases, it went ahead to commit to reducing emission intensity. With this, India has positioned itself at the forefront of global climate change narrative by not just giving a commitment of emission reduction.
India has also walked the talked by implementing various measures like International Solar Alliance, programmes like Ujjwala, UJALA, and a renewable energy target of 225 GW.
Now, by being well on the track to deliver its global promise made in 2015 with respect to its emissions, India’s moral authority to lead the actions on climate change has become evident once again.
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