Parliament: Oppn castigates government for Glasgow climate summit announcements | Latest India News
India’s decision to announce a goal of net zero emissions by 2070 amid the climate crisis facing the planet was debated at length at Lok Sabha on Friday during a discussion of the results of the Glasgow Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26.
The debate ranged from why India announced the 2070 target in Glasgow to whether the country has succeeded in championing fairness in climate negotiations. MEPs pointed out issues such as the cultivation of palm oil, stubble fires on farms, the role of indigenous peoples in forest conservation, etc.
The debate that started on Wednesday and was postponed Thursday continued until Friday, running from noon to 4 p.m., after which it was postponed again. Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav’s response to concerns about the results in Glasgow has been delayed.
The minister was asked by Saugata Roy of the All India Trinamool Congress on what prompted Prime Minister Narendra Modi to announce net zero emissions by 2070. Although India appeared opposed to the idea of ââa target of net zero emissions before the Glasgow conference, what pressure led to Modi’s about-face, Roy asked.
âWe agreed to phase out coal, but why haven’t we pushed developed countries to phase out all fossil fuels,â Roy asked. He added that coal dependent states such as West Bengal would be negatively affected by the Glasgow decision. Climate equity inside the country will be a challenge for India, he said.
Roy said a discussion of loss and damage should be started in the Sunderbans, one of the landscapes most affected by climate change. Referring to the books by author Amitav Ghosh, Roy said the Sunderban region has been hit by four cyclones in two years and is facing severe erosion.
NK Premachandran of the Revolutionary Socialist Party of Kerala said India deserves to be appreciated for raising the issue of climate justice in Glasgow, but this was not reflected in the operational paragraphs of the Glasgow Pact.
âThis is the case of the rich who hide behind the poor. The concept of fairness is being diluted globally. Instead of developed and developing countries, a new concept of emerging economies is introduced which will dilute the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities under the Paris Agreement.
Tapir Gao, BJP MP from Arunachal Pradesh, said tribal people were an important resource in solving the climate crisis. âWhere there are tribes, there are forests,â he said.
Agatha Sangma of the National People’s Party, an MP from Meghalaya, said 76% of her state is forest and it is an important carbon sink for India. âThe Indo-Himalayan region is known for its distinctive biodiversity. It is very different from the rest of the country. We cannot have negative natural growth, âshe said, adding that the government should only continue with palm oil cultivation in the northeast and in Andaman and Nicobar after detailed consultations with state governments. Meghalaya has proposed a concept of environmental states, which will be environmentally oriented economies, she said.
Harsimrat Kaur Badal of Shiromani Akali Dal said that Punjab, due to its economy dominated by agriculture, is one of the most affected by climate change. But every year, farmers in the Punjab are accused of being the source of air pollution from stubble burning. âThey have been burning thatch for centuries. Our farmers have played a major role in the country’s food security. The Green Revolution has depleted our groundwater and polluted the water. Cancer cases are on the rise in Punjab, âshe said.
Yadav said thatch burning is decriminalized under the Commission Act for the Management of Air Quality in the National Capital Region and Adjacent Areas.
BJP’s Jagdambika Pal said the fact that Lok Sabha was discussing climate change and the Glasgow conference was a message to the world that India was serious about the issue.