India on Wednesday rejected international calls to announce a carbon-neutral goal despite pressures it faces as the world’s third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, Reuters reported.
India believes that it is important for the world to set a course to reduce carbon emissions and avoid dangerously high global temperatures.
This comes days before the highly anticipated United Nations Climate Summit (COP26) to be held next week in Glasgow, Scotland.
Presidents and representatives of nearly 200 countries will meet in Glasgow from October 31 to November 12 for talks aimed at promoting action to tackle global warming under the 2015 Paris Agreement.
“Declaring net zero emissions is not the answer to the climate crisis,” India’s Environment Ministry Secretary R.P. Gupta told reporters. “The amount of carbon that is emitted into the atmosphere before reaching net zero is the most important,” he added.
India’s Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav said he will measure the success of the Glasgow conference by how much climate finance it provides to help the developing world reduce its emissions while ensuring economic growth.
Several countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union, have announced their goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, at which point they will emit an amount of greenhouse gases that can be absorbed through forests, crops, and soils.
China – the largest emitter of greenhouse gases – and Saudi Arabia have also set similar targets by 2060, but those goals are largely meaningless without concrete action for now, critics say.
India has committed to reducing its carbon intensity by 33 to 35 percent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels, and achieving a 24 percent reduction by 2016.
Some environmental experts say India could consider reducing its emissions intensity by up to 40 percent depending on financing and whether it has access to newer technologies.
Officials said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the Glasgow meetings, a sign of how the country is taking climate change seriously, while Chinese President Xi Jinping is not expected.