Monday, 28 November, 2022
E-paper

Phasing Out All Fossil Fuels

COP27 informal draft omits India’s proposal

NEW DELHI: The UN published a first informal draft of the climate deal on Thursday and it doesn’t mention phase down of all fossil fuels, a proposal that was put forward by India and supported by the European Union and many other countries, reports PTI.

The draft, reflecting needs and demands of countries, expresses deep regret that developed countries who have the most capabilities financially and technologically to lead in reducing their emissions continue to fall short in doing so.

It encourages the continued efforts to accelerate measures towards the phase down of unabated coal power and phase out and rationalize inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, in line with national circumstances and recognizing the need for support towards just transitions.

Nearly the same language was used in the Glasgow Climate deal last year. When contacted, a spokesperson of the Environment Ministry said the Indian negotiators do not wish to comment as negotiations are going on.

The cover text also doesn't mention when a loss and damage finance facility will be launched and what its contours will be.  Poor and developing countries have demanded that the COP27 concludes with a decision to launch a fund to address loss and damage -- a term used for irreparable destruction caused by climate change-fuelled disasters.

The text stresses the importance of exerting all efforts at all levels to achieve the Paris Agreement temperature goal of holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The 20-page document, described as a 'non-paper' by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, is 8,400 words long as compared to the Glasgow pact, which was around 4,600 words and was in itself one of the longest cover texts in the history of UN climate summits.

India had proposed on Saturday that the talks wrap up with a decision to phase down all fossil fuels and not just coal.

EU Vice President Frans Timmermans told the media on Tuesday that the bloc would support India's proposal if it comes on top of what we already agreed in Glasgow.

According to media reports, US climate envoy John Kerry said the US will support the proposal as long as it focuses on unabated oil and gas.

Citing the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Indian negotiators had told the Egyptian COP27 presidency that meeting the long term goal of the Paris Agreement requires phase down of all fossil fuels.

Selective singling out of sources of emissions, for either labelling them more harmful, or labelling them 'green and sustainable' even when they are sources of greenhouse gases, has no basis in the best available science, the Indian side said.

Experts said the informal draft had a weaker version of the language around coal and fossil fuel subsidies than what countries agreed to last year. The insertion of rationalize inefficient fossil fuels subsidies is a signal that there isn't a serious attempt to meet this goal.

The non-paper, which will form the basis of the final agreement, said rich nations are taking inadequate and unambitious goals to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, while they continue to emit and disproportionately consume the global carbon budget.

Developed countries should attain net-negative carbon emissions by 2030. Developing countries can enhance mitigation ambition based on the provision of support by developed countries to developing countries, it read.

The informal draft also highlighted that about $4 trillion a year needs to be invested in renewable energy until 2030 - including investments in technology and infrastructure - to allow the world to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

Furthermore, a global transformation to a low-carbon economy is expected to require investments of at least $4-6 trillion a year, it mentioned.

The draft text also recognised that this requires accelerated action in this critical decade, on the basis of the best available scientific knowledge and equity, reflecting common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities in the light of different national circumstances and in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty.