Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, December 06, 2011
First Published: 16:47 IST(6/12/2011)
Last Updated: 17:02 IST(6/12/2011)
Pedestrians cross the second ring road as pollution reaches what the US Embassy monitoring station says are “Hazardous” levels in Beijing.
Voluntary climate mitigation action of the emerging economies such as India will lead to higher reduction in global warming causing carbon emissions as compared to emission cut pledges of the rich nations.
A United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report released on Tuesday saying that developing country’s voluntary actions will have more impact on emission reduction in business to usual scenario would help developing nations in opposing emission cuts in new climate treaty.
“Brazil will achieve the most among emerging economies. India and China will also do well,” said Achim Steiner, UNEP’s top official told HT after releasing the report. Brazil in 2009 had announced voluntary emission reduction of 38-42 % by 2020 whereas India has decided to reduce energy intensity (per unit of GDP) by 20-25 % by 2020.
When asked whether the report suggested how — rich or emerging economies — should bear the burden of emission reductions to limit rise of temperature to two degree celsius by end of the century, he said their job was to present scientific data before the climate negotiators to take a call. “It is for the political leaders to decide on action on the scientific data presented by us,” he said.
Sunita Narian, director-general of NGO Centre for Science and Environment said there is ennough data to suggest that the developing world is doing much more than its capacity to fight climate change. “Those responsible for carbon emissions, the rich world, is sheirking from their responsibility (to fight climate change),” she said.
The UNEP report also said that the emission gap to keep temperature at two degree celsius has increased by one gega tonne in a year. As per UNEP estimate, emissions should not be higher than 44 gega tonnes by 2020.
“The analysis indicates that the gap has got larger rather than smaller, standing around six gega tonne by around 2020,” the report said. It means that total global carbon emissions in 2020 would be 50 gega tonne.
Steiner said the world can still bridge the gap if it opts for low carbon growth pathways by adopting cleaner technologies but the time was running out.
“It (opting for low carbon growth) will not be an easy task,” said Maria van der Hoeven Executive Director of International Energy Association. The IEA said that the full potential of low carbon growth could be utilised only by 2035 primarily because of high cost of cleaner technologies including renewable.