COP 28: India’s equity demand

COP 28: India’s equity demand


Global warming and cumulative carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions share an intricate relationship. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) highlights the growing share of emissions in developing countries to meet their social and developmental needs. The Paris Agreement, anchored in the ‘common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities’ (CBDR-RC) principle, aims to restrict global temperature rise. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report reveals a looming challenge – a finite global carbon budget.


GS – 2, GS – 3 (Important International Institutions, Conservation)

Mains Question:

Discuss India’s responsibility in the context of global carbon emissions and the challenges posed by the depleting carbon budget. Assess the impact on India’s developmental goals and propose strategic measures for a sustainable future. (250 words)

Dimensions of the Article:

  • Understanding the Global Carbon Budget
  • India’s Carbon Footprint
  • Global Energy Dynamics
  • COP 28: India’s Imperative

Understanding the Global Carbon Budget

  • The global carbon budget is the maximum amount of greenhouse gases that can be emitted while limiting global warming to a specific level. It’s calculated by taking into account the effects of other anthropogenic climate forcers.
  • The intricate concept of the ‘global carbon budget’ demands scrutiny, representing the permissible cumulative CO2 emissions. As we navigate a climate crisis, this budget becomes a critical gauge, urging nations to rethink their emissions trajectory for a sustainable future.

India’s Carbon Footprint:

  • Despite India’s burgeoning population, its historical contribution to cumulative emissions remains modest.
  • With just 4% of historical emissions from South Asia, including India, the per capita CO2-FFI emissions highlights a narrative of responsible energy usage, challenging the conventional perception of developing nations as major contributors to climate change.
  • CRISIL MI&A Research estimates that India will produce ~147 million tonne (MT) of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through conventional fossil fuel-powered passenger vehicles (PVs) in calendar year 2023, marking an increase of 1.4%, amid an unprecedented surge in public transit and shared mobility services
  • The looming global carbon budget depletion places India at a strategic crossroads.
  • The need to balance developmental aspirations with environmental responsibility requires nuanced policy-making.
  • India’s stance becomes pivotal, influencing not only its trajectory but also contributing significantly to the global climate agenda.

Global Energy Dynamics:

  • Examining the global energy landscape reveals the dominance of non-renewable sources, with fossil fuels continuing to play a central role.
  • The push for rapid transitions, as witnessed in COP 26, emphasizes the challenges faced by nations reliant on conventional energy sources and the imperative for equitable solutions that foster sustainable growth.

COP 28: India’s Imperative

  • COP28, denoting the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties, is slated for November to December 2023. This global assembly brings together envoys from nearly 200 nations to engage in discussions and negotiations regarding worldwide climate policies and initiatives.
  • Significance: COP28’s primary objective is to confront pressing climate change issues, encompassing the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation to climate change impacts, and the mobilization of financial resources for climate-related endeavors. The conference serves as a pivotal arena for nations to establish targets, exchange successful strategies, and commit to actions combating climate change. It assumes a critical role in advancing international collaboration and coordination, working towards the objectives outlined in the Paris Agreement.
  • Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber has recently been appointed as the President of COP28, underscoring the leadership changes steering this influential climate conference.
  • The groundwork for COP28 discussions will be laid during the Bonn Climate Conference in June 2023, providing a preparatory platform for the comprehensive deliberations that will take place later in the year.
  • As India positions itself for COP 28, the imperative is clear – a delicate balance between development and climate consciousness.
  • The advancements made in poverty alleviation and the proactive initiatives like the International Solar Alliance highlight India’s commitment.
  • India’s call for a fair share of its carbon budget at COP 28 is grounded in principles of equity.
  • Initiatives like the International Solar Alliance and the Lifestyle for Environment mission showcase India’s proactive stance, but the demand for financial and technological support from developed nations remains paramount.
  • The negotiation at COP 28 is not merely about emissions but about rectifying historical imbalances and ensuring a just transition towards a sustainable future.


COP 28 presents an opportunity to reshape the narrative, fostering collaboration based on equitable principles. The journey ahead requires not just promises but tangible actions, ensuring that the burden of climate change is shared justly across nations.