India’s power and renewable energy minister has called out rich nations for committing to cut their emissions to net zero without translating their ambition into short-time action.
Raj Kumar Singh described net zero goals as “pie in the sky” during a global summit hosted by the International Energy Agency (IEA) designed to create global momentum for achieving net zero emissions by the middle of the century.
The virtual ministerial dialogue was attended by more than 40 ministers from large emitting nations.
“You have countries whose per capita emissions are four times, five times, six times, 12 times the world average,” Singh said during a panel discussion with China’s energy minister Zhang Jianhua, US climate envoy John Kerry and the EU’s Frans Timmermans, which have all backed net zero goals.
“Now the question is when are [emissions] going to come down. What we hear is that ‘by 2050 or by 2060 we will become carbon neutral’.” But “2060 is far away,” Singh said in reference to China’s own net zero goal.
“If by that time people continue to emit at the rate at which they are emitting, the world won’t survive. So what are you going to do in the next five years, we want to know that, the world wants to know that. What are you going to do in the next 10 years?” he asked.
Singh’s comments come as India is facing mounting diplomatic pressure to set its own net zero goal ahead of the Cop26 climate talks in Glasgow, UK, in November.
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