Dear Mr Trump, From 1850 to 2010, India's Emissions Were One Tenth of US
When the largest historical contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions — United States of America — pulled out of the Paris Agreement, aimed at lowering the effects of GHG and climate change, it heaped blame on India and China for skewing the Accord in their favour.
From 1850 to 2010, India’s CO2 emissions have been one tenth that of the US and of the European countries. (Image: Network18 Creative)
New Delhi: When the largest historical contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions — United States of America — pulled out of the Paris Agreement, aimed at lowering the effects of GHG and climate change, it heaped blame on India and China for skewing the Accord in their favour.
That argument, a basic knowledge of facts shows, cuts absolutely no ice. President Donald Trump, in his speech announcing the US withdrawal from the Pact said “China will be allowed to build hundreds of additional coal plants. So, we can’t build the plants, but they can, according to this agreement. India will be allowed to double its coal production by 2020.”
He went on to say that “India makes its participation contingent on receiving billions and billions of dollars in foreign aid from the developed countries.”
Niklas Höhne, professor at Wageningen University in the Netherlands and founder of the New Climate Institute, told The Washington Post: “As a scientist, I was amazed by the many wrong assertions that he used… He said that India may double their coal production, but also India is slowing its growth of coal use and just stated that the recent coal plants in construction may not be necessary until 2022.”
India had submitted to the Agreement that it would reduce its emissions per unit of economic output by 33 to 35 per cent below 2005-level by 2030; the submission does seek foreign aid to meet its goals and mitigate the costs.
Arti Khosla, a Delhi based consultant on climate change and energy told News18 that India is not heavily dependent on aid from the global Green Fund, that developed countries have to contribute to, to meet its clean energy targets.
The Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) made by developing countries such as India are ambitious and India has shown commitment towards keeping them, well on its way to becoming the world’s third largest solar-powered economy.
All countries set their own targets, determined by domestic needs, which are non-binding. Any country can change its emission targets. The US has already been criticised for having set underwhelming emission cut targets under the Obama administration, which all countries, including India accommodated at COP21 in Paris, December 2015. It has also only signed off $1 billion for the pledged $3 billion for the Green Climate Fund that was instituted as aid from developed countries which have been GHG emitters since industrialization. This aid will help developing countries that are trying to fulfil their energy needs and adapt to climate change. The Fund is supposed to collect $10.13 billion. India and China had taken a stand in 2015 to make sure that the rich countries contribute for this, instead of the developing nations.
From 1850 to 2010, India’s CO2 emissions have been one tenth that of the US and of the European countries. India had also agreed to a five-yearly review of its targets.
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