‘Phasing out’ of coal from US-Chinese declaration at COP26, unfair criticism of India, officials say | India News

NEW DELHI: Seeking to counter criticism from developed countries that India is the last-minute spoiler at the recent COP26 regarding “phasing out coal,” senior officials rebuffed the comments, saying they were misinformed and unfair. The term “gradual reduction”, which replaced “phase-out”, of coal emissions was taken from the US-China statement the day before.
Officials said India objected to only mentioning coal and not oil and gas, which is mainly used by developed countries. This puts countries like India and China on the dock while providing a loophole for Western countries. Officials also said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks on net zero and other climate commitments should not be confused with India’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) – the Prime Minister was setting ” national targets ”while the revised NDC is a technical document. The prime minister, according to sources, made an “ambitious statement”. “It took a lot of them by surprise. The PM said if you want higher ambition on mitigation, there should be more ambition on finance and adaptation. Ambition cannot be unilateral, ”they added.
Action Aid USA politician Brandon Wu summed up the basic “injustice” in a Twitter thread, where he called Western actions “climate colonialism.”
The text targets “relentless coal power and inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, leaving GIANT gaps for CCS (and FF ‘efficient’ subsidies) as well as oil and gas entirely excluded.” India suggested earlier that it approach ALL fossil fuels fairly. But a fair phase-out of fossil fuels would place most of the burden on the United States and rich countries … Instead, the existing language of # COP26 has far-reaching implications for developing countries like India. and tons of gaps for continued US fossil fuel business. ”
India and China have worked together on the language of coal, officials said. Unfortunately, India was in the spotlight when its environment minister was invited to read the final result, they added.
Critics have pointed to India’s “naivety” in which China has pulled back while India has taken the lead, despite showing the greatest commitment to climate change mitigation goals. at the summit. “We opposed the emphasis on mitigation over finance and adaptation,” sources said, adding that India has consistently opposed targeting coal subsidies.
There is another view, however, that if India had not asserted itself, the government would have been criticized for not being vigilant about the country’s interests. The government’s view is that the Prime Minister’s targets for 2030 are a powerful spur for Western countries to fulfill their part of the deal.
BASIC’s statement, officials said, made it clear that India would not agree to phase out coal subsidies – India was joined by South Africa, Australia, Indonesia, Venezuela, Nigeria and China, among others. A compromise was worked out to bring the language closer to the G-20 declaration, they added, “with national guarantees and adequate protection for poor and vulnerable countries.” In the end, “we tried to find a consensus,” they said.
The outcome document reinstated the “phase-out” of coal subsidies at the request of small island countries and maintained “phase-out” for coal.
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