Vanuatu’s plea on Climate Change

Vanuatu's plea on Climate Change

Vanuatu’s big plea does little to arrest climate change

#GS-03 Environment and Ecology, #GS-02 International Relations

For Prelims:

About Vanuatu:

  • Vanuatu officially the Republic of Vanuatu is an island country located in the South Pacific Ocean which is volcanic in origin.
  • The Republic of Vanuatu gained independence in 1980 and is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, Organisation internationale de la Francophonie and the Pacific Islands Forum.

About COP 27:

  • The 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 27) to the UNFCCC will take place in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
  • COP 27 was originally expected to take place from 8-20 November 2021.
  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, COP 26 was rescheduled from November 2020 to November 2021.
  • As a result, COP 27 will take place from 6-18 November 2022.

To know more about COP 27 click here.

For Mains:

Vanuatu’s demands:

  • The President of Vanuatu wanted the UN General Assembly to adopt a universal Non-Proliferation Treaty to ban the use of fossil fuels across the world.
  • Vanuatu represents a strong and vocal group of small island-developing states whose voice is heard with attention and empathy in the UN.
  • The Mayor of Kolkata has lent his voice of support for the demands of Vanuatu.

India’s concerns:

  • Vanuatu’s demands are similar to the call for phaseout of coal which was made last year at the Glasgow climate conference.
  • India is concerned that a phaseout was unfair to countries that were heavily dependent on coal power in the medium term.
  • India is also concerned since a mandate in the UN has very different implications than when it is presented under the UN Climate Change Convention.
  • UN mandate of this nature is divorced from the legal responsibility of the polluting countries to reduce their emissions on the basis of responsibility, capability and national circumstances, as required by the Climate Change Convention.
  • It also makes no provisions for technological and financial innovations that are necessary to ensure the transition.
  • Coal is the mainstay of primary energy supply in many countries such as India and forms the basic and essential component of their energy system.
  • On the other hand, a substantial share of rising global emissions is accounted for by the unsustainable levels of consumption of natural resources and lavish lifestyles led by the consumers in developed economies.
  • A plan to drastically reduce coal fired power would in fact do very little to arrest the problem of climate change globally but may create insurmountable difficulties in securing the progress of developing economies towards key sustainable development goals.

What needs to be done:

  • If the transition to a world of lower emissions has to be sustainable, it must also be just and equitable.
  • A just transition needs to be built on the promise that green energy and a green future will be available to all.
  • It is in this context that the call for Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE) issued by India recently, assumes importance.
  • Consumers in countries that consume at an unsustainable pace and contribute to rising emissions have a much greater responsibility to clean up the planet and support the growth of green energy.
  • It is high time that building climate-resilient infrastructure in the developing and growing countries is given as much importance as phasing down coal and investment in energy innovations and alternative technologies.