The Conference of the Parties (COP) 28 UAE, one of the biggest global meets with 70,000 people expected to attend its proceedings is on in the Expo City Dubai. In one of his communiques Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, COP28 President-Designate and UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change had laid down four points as the Action Agenda of COP28. These were:
- Fast-tracking the just, equitable and orderly energy transition and slashing emissions before 2030.
- Transforming climate finance by delivering on old promises and setting the framework for a new deal on finance.
- Putting nature, people, lives and livelihoods at the heart of climate action.
- Mobilizing for an inclusive COP.
The meet was addressed by PM Narendra Modi. In his address on 29 November, the PM said, “The entire world is watching us. Mother Earth is looking toward us to protect her future. We have to succeed.”
However, India has not signed the Global Renewable and Energy Efficiency Pledge. 118 countries have signed the pledge. India not signing the Green Pledge, came as a surprise to many of the attendees and some capitals across the globe. The pledge commits the signatories to triple the installed global capacity. The pledge also aims to double the energy efficiency improvement rate.
The possible reason for India’s abstaining is because of the pledge being focused on Coal and calling a halt on investments for Coal based power plants. The other reason contemplated is the possibility of the Green Pledge undermining progress of negotiations under the UN climate framework.
India’s energy need is rising steeply at 8 percent annually, and coal fired thermal projects contribute very substantially in meeting the requirement. Till such time as renewable sources are better developed accepting embargoes on Coal would certainly affect the overall GDP growth.
Modi, in his talk in COP 28, had a go at the West and said, “We do not have much time to correct the mistakes of the last century.” “Over the past century, a small section of humanity has indiscriminately exploited nature. However, entire humanity is paying the price for this, especially people living in the global south.”
Along with India and China, major oil producing nations like Russia, Saudi Arabia and Iran also didn’t commit to the pledge to triple renewable power generation by 2030.
Brig SK Chatterji (Retd)