Q Contraire: Is The COP26 summit in Glasgow A Climate Change Charade?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi while speaking at COP26 said that India is working very hard to tackle climate change-related issues and that “it would be appropriate justice to create pressure on nations that don’t meet their own promises of climate finance.”

India’s Climate Action Plans

“Today, the entire world admits that India is the only major economy which has delivered on the Paris agreement in letter and spirit,” PM Modi told world leaders at COP26, as he outlined India’s climate goals.

PM Modi stated that environmentally conscious lifestyle choices can play a crucial role in combatting climate change. He urged  ’Lifestyle for Environment’ to be adopted on a global scale.

In addition, India’s space agency ISRO will build a special data window for SIDS (Small Island Developing States). SIDS will continue to get timely information about cyclones, coral-reef monitoring, coast-line monitoring etc. through satellite.

India also pledged to achieve 450 GW installed energy capacity by 2030 through non-fossil fuel sources. It aims to meet 50 per cent of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2030.

The PM announced that India would reduce its carbon emissions by 1 billion tons by 2030. In addition, India would cut carbon intensity in its economy by 45 per cent, and by 2070, India will achieve the target of net-zero emissions, PM Modi told leaders at COP26.

Is India The Only Nation Walking The Talk?

PM Modi’s message to developed countries was that just as India has raised its ambitions in setting goals, so too must they do the same in climate finance and tech transfer.

He noted that the world cannot meet newer climate finance targets with old goals and impositions on developing nations by the developed nations, that haven’t as yet and must fulfil their earlier commitments.

 ”India expects developed countries to make $1 trillion available as climate finance as soon as possible. As we track the progress of climate mitigation, we must also track climate finance. Justice would truly be served if pressure is put on those countries that have not lived up to their climate finance commitments,” he said.

Is this symbolic of the shambolic hypocrisy of the summit as a whole?

In the midst of the world’s fight against climate change and the UN’s climate change summit, several delegates arrived at the summit in private planes which spewed tonnes of CO2.

“Every world leader or dignitary that arrives to @COP26 by private jet is an eco-hypocrite. Fact.” fumed Nigel Farage, former politician, Leader of the UK Independence Party on Twitter

For their use of private jets to travel to Rome and Scotland, Prince Charles, the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, are also among the leaders to have come under criticism, as they pontificate on the ill-effects of a warming planet, as they warm their seats on lush jets. Earlier too, in June, Johnson raised eyebrows when instead of taking the train from London, he flew to Cornwall for the G7 summit.

Tackling Climate Change Or Hypocrisy At COP26?

According to reports, more than 400 private planes carrying business leaders and politicians to the summit ill spew out 13,000 tons of CO2.

Ironically, these bigwigs and their private jets’ emissions will exceed the average annual emissions of roughly 1,600 Scots. An average human being emits around 4-8 tons annually.

From Japan to the United States, to Israel to even the United Kingdom itself, world leaders and heads of state will be among those taking private jets. 

Biden’s Bloated Business Entourage

Earlier today, US President Joe Biden arrived aboard Air Force One. The trip follows the president’s trip from Washington to Rome for the G20 summit this weekend. Global leaders pledged “meaningful and effective” climate action at the G20 summit, but offered little information about how they will limit global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, as they hopped and skipped aboard their personal luxury aviation vehicles.

In the Vatican on Friday, while on his way to meet the Pope, Joe Biden deployed a massive motorcade, 85 gas-guzzling cars in total. Today, according to reports, he had a similarly long entourage on his way from the airport to the summit venue.

Critics on the internet have blasted Biden and others for their exorbitant displays. A number of the participants at COP26 have been called out for claiming to fight climate change while not reducing their enormous personal carbon footprints.

Jeff Bezos, Prince Albert of Monaco, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have all been found wanting on the same account.

India Is Low On Emissions For A Nation Its Size Anyway

India, which accounts for 17 per cent of the global population, is responsible for only about 5 per cent of total emissions.

From the world’s largest railway carrier attempting to become net-zero in the net 50 years or saving 40 billion tons of carbon emissions through LEDs and a focus on renewable energy, India is putting climate change at the forefront of its policies.

Now that’s not a bunch of hot air by any means.

The PM may just have stopped short of adding’ hypocrisy ki bhi seema hoti hai,’ a statement that might have been lost on the developed nations, not only because of language comprehension concerns.

(With inputs from Agency Reports)

Carbon footprintClimate ChangeCOP26ExplainedIndiaLeadersQ ContraireStrategySummitTechnology