US submits climate action plan, pressure on India

Barack-Obama-speaks-at-th-001The US has submitted its climate action plan, which envisages the world’s most powerful economy cutting its greenhouse gas emission by 26-28% by 2025.

The plan, also referred as Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), has put the onus on India, one of the world’s biggest polluters, to come out with its own emission cut targets.

The US official statement, issued after submission of the INDC, said, “the submission, referred as an Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), is a formal statement of the US target, announced in China last year, to reduce our emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025, and to make best efforts to reduce by 28%.”

Switzerland was the first country to submit its INDC to the UNFCCC, and other countries like Norway and Mexico soon followed. Switzerland promised to reduce its greenhouse gas emission by minimum 50% by 2030 from its 1990 level. The 28-member EU has promised to cut their emission by at least 40% by the same deadline. Similarly, Norway also promised in its INDC to reduce its emission by at least 40% by 2030.

“With these actions, as well as strong INDCs submitted by Norway and Switzerland, countries representing over 50% of global CO2 emissions have either announced or formally reported their targets. Today’s action by the United States further demonstrates real momentum on the road to reaching a successful climate agreement this December in Paris and shows President Obama is committed to leading on the international stage,” said the US official statement.

It added that the US will double the pace of carbon pollution reduction in the country by 1.2% per year on an average during the period 2005-2020 to 2.3-2.8% per year during 2020-2025. The country plans to achieve its carbon emission reduction target of 80% by 2050.

Now that these countries have submitted the INDC, all eyes will be on China and India, the world’s largest polluters. China last year had signaled a broader plan when it unveiled out its greenhouse gas emission reduction plan by 2030. India was also expected to submit its INDC by May 2015. Prakash Javadekar, the Environment and Climate Change Minister, has said India was preparing its INDC and would submit in “well in time”.

Under the INDC, all countries are expected to submit their detailed carbon emission plan in the upcoming climate meet to be held in Paris in December 2015. A new global climate deal is expected to be signed, and the agreement will be implemented in 2020.

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