G20 New Delhi Leader’s Declaration and the success of Paris Agreement, ET EnergyWorld

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It would not be boastfulness to term the 18th G20 Summit in New Delhi a great success. At a time when countries are at war, there is a lack of trust between nations and the economies across the world are not faring too well, to get most nations to come to an agreement on issues relating to financial inclusion, sustainability, food-security, digitisation, multilateralism, gender equality etc. is no easy task. The success of the G20 Summit in New Delhi only reiterates India’s importance in world politics and every Indian needs to sincerely thank our political leadership and officials who worked tirelessly to make this event such an unprecedented success.With the nations of the world agreeing to 73 outcomes and 39 presidency documents, this is an unprecedented consensus. Most importantly, the New Delhi Declaration is being seen as a success and step towards achieving the goals under the Paris Agreement. “One Earth, One Family, One Future” reiterates the belief by the nations that we all are one global community destined to meet the same fate. Our actions need to speak louder than our words and if the declaration is anything to go by, it is heartening that countries have acknowledged that the global community is just not doing enough to meet the Paris
Agreement goals.The commitment to urgently accelerate climate action to protect this earth especially the poor and the vulnerable is heartening. That nations have committed to full and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement while being guided by the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, shows that there is a consensus despite the dissimilarities in circumstances and capabilities. The discussions around climate financing, technology transfer, capacity building, sustainable and responsible consumption are all positive steps. Countries have been urged and encouraged to ensure that they focus on achieving and bettering their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) for climate change adaptation and mitigation despite
their peculiar circumstances and challenges. While such discussions have been a regular feature even earlier, without any significant results, that the G20 countries have agreed to assess the progress thus far at the Dubai Conference of Parties (COP) and ensure its success, shows some noticeable commitment. The members have reiterated their commitment to achieve global net zero GHG emissions by mid-century through latest scientific developments and approaches like Circular Carbon Economy, socio-economic, technological and market development, and promotion of most efficient solutions.

Discussions around macroeconomic implications of climate risks and transition pathways; promotion of sustainable lifestyles for climate action; launch of Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy Industry Coalition (RECEIC); acceleration of clean, sustainable, just, affordable and inclusive energy transitions; focus on mechanisms for climate financing; commitment to conserve, protect, use sustainably and restore ecosystems; harness and preserve ocean-based economy; end plastic pollution; finance inclusive, resilient, and sustainable future cities and commitment to reduce the risk of disasters and build climate resilient infrastructure, are all extremely thoughtful, well-intentioned and much needed steps.

India has taken the lead to promote green hydrogen and biofuels. It has also used its presidency to highlight its commitment towards climate change adaptation and mitigation by showcasing its progress in promoting energy efficient technologies, electric mobility, large-scale solar projects, circularity and various other sustainability initiatives under Mission LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment). India or any other developing or developed nation cannot ensure the success of global climate action. However, as it has been the case at most COPs, while the nations agree and commit to all possible solutions, most do not walk the talk. We have seen 27 COPs and hopefully the 28th in Dubai will be a refreshing change if the New Delhi Declaration is anything to go by.

Let us not forget that while no nation today wishes to appear uncooperative or insensitive to climate change, each of the nations, be it developed or developing have their own concerns and challenges. Economies have taken a beating due to Covid and wars, big or small, have not done any good to the global economy either. The adverse impact of climate events on lives and economies across the world is deeply disturbing. India, by using its Presidency as an opportunity has done a great service to the global community by ensuring consensus on a lot of issues amongst at least the G20 nations. However, whether the thoughts propagated by the “Vishwaguru” will be readily accepted and followed by the others, is something we will have to wait and see. Let us all just hope and pray that this wait is not too long.

[This piece was written exclusively for ETEnergyworld by Nawneet Vibhaw, Partner, Environmental Law practice, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. Views are personal]

  • Published On Sep 16, 2023 at 04:39 PM IST

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