India warns global north to avoid ‘profiteering’ from climate crisis

‘Greenwashing, abrogating historical responsibilities and protectionism need to be stopped’

The environment minister of India urged his “friends from the global north” to refrain from “profiteering” on the climate catastrophe and warned against using greenwashing and conventional solutions.

On Sunday, Bhupender Yadav reminded the global north that the climate crisis was distinct from other global issues like trade or finance. He was speaking at the Raisina Dialogue 2023 conference in Delhi.

India has received a lot of criticism for its usage of coal despite being the third greatest polluter in the world and having much lower per capita emissions than affluent nations. The nation must must find a way to balance development and climate action while also meeting the energy needs of its enormous population.

According to India, the United Nations’ principle of “Common But Differentiated Duties” states that industrialized nations have a responsibility to provide developing countries with the space they need to invest in their development (CBDR).

Mr. Yadav stated, “I would like to stress, especially friends from the global north, that we must grasp that this crisis is radically different from prior global trade and banking crises, and hence customary approaches and the desire to profit from a calamity need to be eschewed.

Under the guise of combating climate change, he also criticized “greenwashing,” waiving past obligations, and protectionism.

The minister emphasized the need to put an end to “greenwashing,” or false promises of eco-friendliness, as well as historical responsibility abdication and protectionism in the name of combating climate change.

According to Mr. Yadav, India’s climate strategy aims to improve energy efficiency across all sectors, divorce carbon emissions from growth, and promote sustainable development.

According to Mr. Yadav, “mindless consumption and uncontrolled development” have put the security of food and energy in many countries at risk.

Developing countries are victims of unsustainable consumption and production processes of the developed world, he added.

He said India assumed the presidency of the G20, a collective of the world’s 20 major economies, because it led by example on climate action.

India achieved its first voluntary commitment to address climate crisis in 2015, nine years before the deadline and is the only G20 member to do so, according to the minister.

“Our Long Term Low Emission Development Strategy document is premised on two major pillars of climate justice and sustainable lifestyles alongside principles of common but differentiated responsibility and respective capabilities,” he said.

“Combating climate crisis cuts across several verticals where a coordinated and integrated approach serves as an effective tool for a tangible change at the grassroots.”

India’s G20 presidency on similar lines intends to bring an integrated, comprehensive and consensus-driven approach to address climate change and pursue sustainable growth.”

Highlighting India’s accomplishments in climate action, he said the South Asian country ranks fourth in terms of installed renewable energy capacity as well as wind installed capacity, and fifth in solar installed capacity.

In August, India submitted its updated voluntary commitment – called Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) – to the UN, seeking to reach even more ambitious targets in line with its Long Term Low Emission Development Strategy revealed at Cop27, the UN climate summit held in Egypt last November.

While India’s growth in renewables has been rapid in recent years, experts said the country still needs to do a lot more. Climate Action Network, an independent organisation that analyses various NDCs of countries, deems India’s targets to be highly insufficient.

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