Eighth day of COP21.
India is being accused of being one of the biggest obstacles to the progress of the COP21 negotiations. The West accuses India of its unacceptable stance, while the Indian government and NGOs feel that India is intended to be used as a scapegoat for the failure of the negotiations. The INDC (Nationally Determined Contribution) submitted by India is guilty of underestimating its future emissions and not setting a ceiling on its emissions. This, together with its development model based on coal as the primary source of energy, makes its position difficult to reconcile with the objectives of the summit. They insist on the principle of Shared but Differentiated Responsibility, and demands responsibility from rich countries for being the main cause of climate change. However, India itself is already the third largest emitter of CO2 in the world, which is used by the West to demand responsibility from this emerging power.
India talks about “climate justice”: the development of the current powers has been based on emissions. Therefore, in order for poor countries to grow themselves, they must be allowed to emit for the time being. In order to stay within the safety limit of two degrees, this would mean that the most developed countries would have to reduce their emissions even more than is currently proposed to leave that space for growth in developing countries. And this means one thing: India is asking the rich countries to “grow down”. Almost nothing.
Meanwhile, China is prudently staying out of the negotiations. It is said that, as happened in Lima last year, it will end up aligning itself with the Western potential, leaving the group of less developed countries (of which it has been a part since the Stockholm Conference in 1972). There is talk of a possible ultimate alliance between China, the United States and France that will determine in extremis the course of the negotiations.
The situation is tense, and some experts fear that in the end only a weak and non-binding agreement will be reached that will not be able to reach the target of maximum two degrees of warming. The national priorities at stake at this summit are difficult to reconcile, and for this reason it is so difficult and at the same time so important to reach an agreement that it is already becoming essential. But let’s remember that much of the deal has already been written, and the outlook is good.