COP-27: Payback time for rich nations
The only hope left to restrict global warming to 1.5 degrees, is the act of decarbonizing advanced economies on a war footing.
- The closing window of opportunity: Global warming has already touched 1.1° C, and is expected to rise to 2.8 degrees by the end of this century, which is higher than the window of 1.5° C.
- Role of Rich Nations: G-20 countries account for over 70 percent of global carbon emissions. Among them, US and China have a crucial role to decide on the fate of humankind.
- Internal politics of the West: The US did not join the Kyoto Protocol and President Trump took the country out of the Paris Agreement, which it has re-joined under Joe Biden.
What needs to be done?
- The US must bring down emission levels: The US must bring down its per capita emissions, first to the current European levels and then further.
- China must meet ‘net zero’ much earlier: China needs to reach net zero much earlier. It can do so, if it acts strategically, across the entire range of renewable energy sectors.
- Carbon-free electricity systems by 2030: The advanced economies, the US, Europe, China, Japan, and South Korea should ideally aim at achieving carbon-free electricity systems by 2030.