India on Wednesday refused to announce a net zero carbon emissions target ahead of the COP26 climate conference in Scotland’s Glasgow city on October 31, Reuters reported. Environment secretary RP Gupta said that setting a net zero target was not the solution to the climate crisis.
“It is how much carbon you are going to put in the atmosphere before reaching net zero that is more important,” he said.
India is the third-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world after China and the United States. Countries like the United States and the United Kingdom have been urging India to share its plan to become carbon neutral by 2050.
After 2050, the US, UK and the European Union have vowed to only emit an amount of greenhouse gases that can be absorbed by nature and “carbon capture technology”.
Union Minister of Environment Bhupendra Yadav on Wednesday said that rich countries should understand their “historic responsibility” for emission and protect nations that could be vulnerable to climate change, The Guardian reported.
The minister added that India would soon achieve the net zero carbon emissions target set during the 2015 Paris conference. He claimed that India had achieved its climate targets so far without the funds that the rich nations had promised.
Yadav said that the world needs to be careful of how much carbon it puts in the atmosphere before 2050. “Developing nations need space to grow, and [they need] assistance – and without it, they are faced with a choice of compromising on development or relying on dirty fuels,” he said.
The Union minister said he would measure the success of the Glasgow climate conference on October 31 by “how much it delivered on climate finance to help the developing world cut their emissions while ensuring economic growth”, Reuters reported. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to attend the conference.