Photo: Pexels
Photo: Pexels

In December 2015, representatives of 196 state parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change came together to reach a landmark agreement to combat climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future. Soon after, this would become the Paris Agreement - a massive global effort to curb climate and its repercussions. In total, around 188 parties are associated with the Agreement at present.

As part of the initiative, all associated parties are required to regularly report on their emissions and on their implementation efforts. "There will also be a global stocktake every 5 years to assess the collective progress towards achieving the purpose of the agreement and to inform further individual actions by Parties," the UNFCCC website adds.

With around five years having passed since the agreement was put in place, reports indicate that many countries are woefully underprepared when it comes to achieving the targets set. Now, to be fair, this has also been hampered by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As many have noted, the recovery packages announced to combat the deadly virus, in many cases greatly support fossil fuel industries. This in turn has set back the green strides taken by many of the developed countries over the last few years.

According to the Climate Transparency annual review of the action taken by G20 countries, they had collectively managed to reduce energy-related CO2 emissions through climate policies in 2019 for the first time. But a part of the report, that was shared on Twitter by retired Indian diplomat Syed Akbaruddin, India has emerged head and shoulders about other member nations when it comes to taking action against climate change. According to the report, among all the G20 nations, India country that is currently set to achieve its goal.

The Climate Action Tracker (CAT) quantifies and evaluates climate change mitigation commitments and assess whether a government is doing its “fair share” compared with others towards the global effort to limit warming consistent with the Paris Agreement. India, with an aim to reduce the emissions intensity of GDP by 33-35% by 2030 from the 2005 level, is the only country in the list which is in the 'green' zone with the CAT evaluation stating that the country is "2°C compatible".

Other countries - some considered far more developed than India - have in contrast found themselves in the red. While the USA has been tagged as "Critically insufficient" when it comes to "achieving an economy-wide target of reducing GHG emissions by 26-28% below the 2005 level by 2025, and to make best efforts to reduce emissions by 28% (incl. land use)".

Similarly the UK finds itself tagged as being "Insufficient" while the European Union, France and Germany have all been shelved in the "Insufficient" category.

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Free Press Journal