G20 Summit

News: In the recently concluded G20 summit, the leaders made a commitment to reach carbon neutrality by or around mid-century. They have adopted the Rome Declaration (the current presidency of G20 countries is being held by Italy). Earlier, the G20 Climate Risk Atlas was released which provides climate scenarios, information, data and future changes in climate across the G20 countries.

Details:

  • It urged leaders of the world’s biggest economies to put their action plans to tackle the global climate change crisis. This is a significant step in the context of the upcoming UN climate conference (COP 26)in Glasgow, Scotland.
  • It included a pledge to halt financing of overseas coal-fired power generation by the end of this year (2021).
  • Public-Private Partnerships (PPP)are the only way to achieve the trillions of dollars in annual investment needed to transition to clean, sustainable energy sources that will mitigate the warming of global temperatures.

Indian efforts:

  • Underlining the need to address vaccine inequity across the world, India is ready to produce over 5 billion vaccine doses by the end of next year (2022). India also emphasised on vaccine research, manufacturing and innovation.
  • The vision of “One Earth One Health”, or the need for a collaborative approach in the international domain in the fight against the pandemic.
  • India highlighted the need for resilient global supply chains and invited G-20 countries to make India their partner in economic recovery and supply chain diversification.
  • India also lauded the G-20’s decision to come up with a 15-percent minimum corporate tax to make the global financial architecture “more just and fair”.
  • India welcomed the European Union’s Indo-Pacific strategy and French leadership in it.

Issues:

  • The statement contained few concrete actions and made no reference to a specific 2050 date to achieve net-zero carbon emission. Moreover, the statement removed references in a previous draft to the target to “reduce emissions significantly”.
  • It set no target for phasing out coal domestically, a clear nod to top carbon polluters China and India. For example, China has not set an end date for building domestic coal plants at home. Coal is still China’s main source of power generation, and both China and India have resisted attempts for a G-20 declaration on phasing out domestic coal consumption.
  • It did not touch upon the dispute over vaccine patent waivers.
  • Climate negotiators from the US, EU and UK had made a number of visits to India over the past few months, pressing for India to update its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)to include its target of 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030.