GS 3

Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment.


Explain how the disproportionate historical carbon emissions of developed countries impacted the global carbon budget. What stance should India adopt at COP 28 regarding its fair share of the carbon budget? (250 WORDS)

About Global Carbon Budget:

  • The term ‘global carbon budget’ refers to the maximum cumulative global anthropogenic CO2 emissions from the pre-industrial era to when such emissions reach net- zero”.
  • The remaining carbon budget indicates how much CO2 could still be emitted, from a specified time after the pre-industrial period, while keeping temperature rise to the specified limit.

Disproportionate carbon emissions of developed countries:

  1. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992 noted that per capita emissions in developing countries are still “relatively low” and that their share in the global emissions will grow to meet their social and developmental needs.
  2. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report (IPCC AR6), every 1,000 billion tonnes of CO2 in emissions causes an estimated 0.45 degrees C rise in the global surface temperature.
  3. The IPCC AR6 has shown that the world warmed by a staggering 1.07 degrees C until 2019 from pre-industrial levels.
    • Almost four-fifths of the global carbon budget stands depleted and only a fifth remains to meet the target set in the Paris Agreement.
  4. According to the IPCC AR6, the developed countries have appropriated a disproportionately larger share of the global carbon budget to date.
    • Though South Asia has almost 24% of the entire global population, it has the historical cumulative emission of about 4% only.
    • The per capita CO2-FFI (fossil fuel and industry) emissions of South Asia was just 1.7 tonnes CO2-equivalent per capita.
    • It is far below North America (15.4 tonnes CO2-eq. per capita) and also significantly lower than the world average (6.6 tonnes CO2-eq. per capita).
  5. According to the IPCC estimates, the world breaches an increase of 1.5 degrees C from pre-industrial levels in the early 2030s.

What should India’s stance be at COP 28?

  • India should focus on development rather than depending on developed countries. Because, development is the first defence against climate change
  • India should stop diverting its scarce resources, manpower, and attention to global problems created by developed countries.
  • At COP28, India must demand a fair share of its carbon budget or equivalent reparations to bring about fairness within the global order. 
  • India should stress for financial and technological support from the developed countries.
    • At the COP 15, developed countries promised to provide $100 billion dollars a year to developing countries.
    • But,  the Glasgow Climate Pact recorded an unprecedented “regret” on the failure of the developed countries to follow the promise.
  • Insists countries to revisit their targets as per the current emission rate.

Example: For a 50% chance of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees C, 

  • The U.S. would have to reach net-zero in 2025, rather than 2050.
  • Germany by 2030 instead of 2045.
  • The EU-28 bloc by 2031 instead of 2050.
  • Recognise ‘fair share of the carbon budget’ as a strategic national resource.
    • Because, the reserves of developing nations are depleting rapidly due to over-exploitation by developed countries.
  • Need to shift for renewable energy
    • In 2022, oil, coal and gas accounted for 30%, 27% and 23% of the world’s total energy, while solar and wind energy together contributed only 2.4%.


India’s proactive engagement, collaborative efforts with developed and emerging economies, and unwavering dedication to confronting climate challenges position the nation as an exemplary advocate for climate financing. 

Nevertheless, the fulfilment of financial commitments by developed countries and transformative changes in the international financial system are pivotal to delivering climate financing at the scale necessary to address the global climate crisis

SOURCE : According to the IPCC AR6, developed countries have appropriated a disproportionately larger share of the global carbon budget.

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