Successful last-minute effort by a coalition of countries to introduce the idea of attempting to limit temp rise to 1.5°C instead of 2°C is an ambitious step but it should be backed with collective action by all parties .For India, the imperative now is twofold.
- we should make sure the ratchet mechanism sustains pressure on developed countries to ramp up their efforts. This will require and upgrading our ability to analyse other country contributions and actively shaping the fine print of implementing language for the Paris Agreement in the coming years.
- more important, we have to build a robust and ongoing national process to examine our energy and climate future, to replace India’s current ad hoc, disconnected, process of energy planning and policy. exploring actions such as energy efficiency and public transport that bring synergies across development and climate outcomes .
- we have to analyse also that how much additional coal energy do we anticipate needing; and, to what extent can we urbanise while limiting high carbon lock-in?
One common line of argument is that the Paris Agreement is relatively toothless, does not bind countries (including India) to actual emission limits, has no mechanisms to enforce actions, and therefore will have little impact. If so, India would have little to gain.