Developed countries' hypocrisy on climate: the world needs them to deliver on their promises

Developed countries, which bear the primary responsibility for climate change, have shifted the responsibility for mitigating climate change to developing countries, particularly India and China. They have demanded that developing countries immediately phase out coal, even though these countries must rely on thermal power generation to meet their energy needs. Developed countries have also failed to fulfill their own emission reduction commitments made at the 2016 Paris climate conference.

According to an analysis by the Committee on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), developed countries will collectively emit about 7.2 gigatons more carbon dioxide in 2023 than their national emissions reduction commitments (NDCs) will meet. This means that developed countries will over-emit by about 40%. The US, EU and Russia account for 83% of the excess emissions. Only Norway and Belarus will meet their NDCs.

Developed countries' hypocrisy on climate: the world needs them to deliver on their promises

What developed countries do will affect the carbon budgets available to developing countries as they seek to grow their economies. The "fairness" of the energy transition on a global scale therefore depends on whether developed countries leave enough carbon space for developing and least developed countries. Moreover, developed countries need to take more ambitious action than they have so far in order to achieve climate justice.

Shirking their responsibilities by developed countries will deprive the global South of its future. As COP 28 in Dubai approaches, developed countries must unite and take real action.CEEW analysis says that only five developed countries - the Czech Republic, Finland, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Portugal - are on track to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

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