Climate talks as shortchanging international law
#GS-03 Climate Change
Developing Countries and Climate Change:
- There are three problems with the current negotiating process.
- First, citizens in developed countries are not even aware that two-thirds of their national emissions of carbon dioxide come from their diet, transport, and residential and commercial sectors.
- Second, the process ignores that global well-being will also follow urbanisation of the developing country’s population, requiring fossil fuels for infrastructure and energy to achieve comparable levels.
- Third, the need for vast quantities of cement and steel in developing countries for infrastructure constituting essential emissions, as they urbanise is not being considered.
- As late urbanisers, developing countries account for more than half the annual emissions and most emissions growth.
- They cannot affordably access many of the new technologies to decarbonise quickly.
Climate Treaties and their Aims
- The objective of the Climate Treaty is to avoid a concentration of cumulative emissions of carbon dioxide, prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system and enable sustainable economic development.
- The Paris Agreement (2015) agreed to a 1.5°C global temperature goal.
- The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2018 recommended that net emissions needed to zero out around 2050.
- In Glasgow, in 2021, negotiators zeroed in on coal to reduce future emissions.
- This initiative was not based on science and it ignored the key finding of the IPCC on the centrality of the carbon budget.
What are Carbon Budgets?
- Carbon Budget is the cumulative emissions associated with a specific amount of global warming that scientifically links the temperature goal to national action.
- Carbon budgets are robust as they can be estimated accurately from climate models.
- And, they are the most useful for policy as they couple the climate to the economy consistent with the science of both.