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Govt hails IPCC climate crisis report, says India stand on developed nations’ role ‘vindicated’

Amid pressure from the West to cut emissions to net zero, India has maintained over the years that bulk of responsibility for climate action lies with global north.

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New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government welcomed the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, released Monday, and said it vindicated India’s position that “historical cumulative emissions” are the source of the world’s climate catastrophe.

In a statement late Monday, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change said “developed countries have usurped far more than their fair share of the global carbon budget”.

The ministry noted that reaching the goal of net zero carbon emissions is not enough since “it is the cumulative emissions up to net zero that determine the temperature that is reached”.

Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav also said the report was “a clarion call for the developed countries to undertake immediate, deep emission cuts and decarbonisation of their economies”.

In a series of tweets, the minister said India’s “cumulative and per capita emissions are significantly low and far less than the fair share of global carbon budget”.

Amid pressure from western countries to cut emissions to net zero, India has historically maintained that the bulk of the responsibility to reduce emissions lies with the global north or developed countries.

Also read: These are the ‘code red’ warnings in IPCC climate change report, & why it matters

IPCC report findings on India

The IPCC report has made some devastating predictions about the consequences of global warming for the planet. Among other things, it says the South Asian region, which includes India, will see more extreme heatwaves and rainfall in future decades.

“In the long-term, South and Southeast Asian monsoon and East Asian summer monsoon precipitation will increase,” the IPCC report said.

The government, in its statement, indicated that it had taken note of the IPCC’s findings.

“The report brings out that the monsoon rainfall is expected to intensify in all ranges of the projected scenarios. Intensity and frequency of heavy rainfall events are projected to be on the rise. India notes that the rising temperature will lead to increased frequency and intensity of extreme events including heat waves and heavy rainfall,” said the statement.

The ministry also made note of the report’s findings that carbon dioxide continues to the dominant cause of global warming and that greenhouse gas warming is partially offset by 30 per cent aerosol cooling.

According to Nature, atmospheric aerosols are liquid, solid or mixed particles suspension with variable chemical composition and sizes. All aerosols are able to scatter solar radiation and a few aerosol types can also absorb the radiation.

Citing various government initiatives, including the International Solar Alliance, Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, and raising the domestic renewable energy target to 450 GW by 2030, the statement said, “India’s actions to address global climate change are 2°C compliant and rated highly by several independent agencies of the world”.

2°C-compliant means that the country has been on track with the Paris Agreement, which seeks to limit global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

(Edited by Rachel John)

Also read: India’s no-show at London climate meet isn’t good news for UN’s COP26 talks


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