India failed to attend a key climate meeting between more than 50 countries, ahead of the UN climate summit COP26 in November. The country’s absence follows a G20 meeting the week prior, where they’ve shown to be resistant in making emission commitments.
What is Happening?
- India failed to show up to a two-day ministerial climate meeting in London, citing technical and scheduling difficulties.
- The diplomatic conference was designed to lay the groundwork ahead of the pivotal COP26 UN climate summit, which will be held in Glasgow in November, and to provide preliminary compromises in reaching climate goals set up in the Paris Agreement.
- One of the biggest targets to be reviewed at COP26 is to limit global warming temperatures below 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.
- India was the only one of the 51 invited country members to not attend the conference, citing technical difficulties and schedule clash with domestic parliamentary sessions.
- India’s failure of attendance was particularly noted following the country’s resistance to climate negotiations at the G20 meeting in Naples, Italy on July 22. India was hesitant to commit to a timeline to phase out fossil fuels and besides, as well as to commitment to suspend coal power generation. The G20 communique from the meeting added a footnote that the country rejected the language agreed on net-zero emissions.
- However, countries including Russia, China and Turkey had shown similar hesitancy in committing such efforts in full.
- “We attended the G20 ministerial and made our stand clear. The UK Climate ministerial was right after that,” said Gaurav Khare, spokesman of India’s environment ministry. He adds: “It was being held in the middle of the parliament session (in India) so it was decided that this time we cannot be present.”
- India has previously criticised countries, particularly the richest countries in the world, that have promised to achieve net-zero emission by 2050, and advocates G20 should emphasise on per-capita emissions. Though the country is the world’s third largest carbon emitter, its emissions per head are low owing to its huge population of 1.3 billion.
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