Equity, CBDR Must Be Central To Discussion On Just Transition Pathways: India At Bonn Talks

By Outlook Planet Desk June 09, 2023

India has said that policies for a just and equitable transition to a low-carbon economy must prioritise equity and shared but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR)

Equity, CBDR Must Be Central To Discussion On Just Transition Pathways: India At Bonn Talks
Low carbon economy. DepositPhotos

India has stated during the ongoing Bonn climate talks that the concepts of equity and shared but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) must be at the forefront of discussions on strategies for a just and equitable transition to a low-carbon economy.  The Paris Agreement parties proposed a "Just Transition Work Programme" during COP27 in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, to enable the construction of low-carbon pathways that integrate socio-economic components in line with state-determined development priorities.  In an unofficial meeting on the "Just Transition Work Programme" held in Bonn on Tuesday and Wednesday, India stated that discussions about just transition routes must take into account the difficulties in adaptation and the means of implementation in addition to the mitigation issues.

"This is why we believe that linkages of just transitions should not just be with the mitigation work programme but must also foreground discussions on aspects of adaptation and means of implementation; we concur with other colleagues who have highlighted the same," it said at the talks, according to the Third World Network, an independent non-profit international research and advocacy organisation.

"Climate change is a global collective action problem, and therefore we must speak of equitable and just global transition pathways. Equity and the principles of CBDR (common but differentiated responsibilities) must be central to the consideration of our work under this programme," India said.

It stressed that in order to achieve low-carbon development, developing nations must prioritise challenges related to energy availability, fighting poverty, and enhancing the wellbeing of their citizens.

 "There are issues of energy security, affordability, and reliability that are central to meeting sustainable development goals and the aspirations of the global south."

 China regretted that a lot of countries were talking about "transition" but not "just transition".

In order to prevent the drastic, devastating, and possibly irreversible effects of climate change, countries agreed to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius relative to pre-industrial levels (1850–1900).  The increase in CO2 released into the atmosphere since the beginning of the industrial revolution has been strongly linked to an increase in Earth's average surface temperature of about 1.15 degrees Celsius.  By the end of the century, if things continue as they are, global temperatures will have risen by about 3 degrees Celsius. According to climate science, the world must reduce emissions by half from 2009 levels by 2030 in order to maintain the possibility of meeting the 1.5-degree target.

This calls for a lot of work. For a nation like India, this entails enhancing energy efficiency and speeding up the adoption of renewable energy sources while making sure that any adjustments made to combat climate change are fair, result in new job possibilities, involve everyone in the decision-making process, and guarantee that no one is left behind.

The ideals of equality and Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC) must be central to the effort to combat climate change, according to India.  Equity simply means that each nation's contribution to the world's population and carbon dioxide emissions is equal.  The CBDR-RC concept recognises that each nation must do its part to combat climate change, but developed nations should take the lead because they are responsible for the majority of past and present greenhouse gas emissions.