India Throws Itself Under the Bus for China

Alpesh Patel Wednesday 17th November 2021 07:18 EST

Why oh why does India feel the need to subjugate herself for the Chinese? Take COP26. In total disbelief I watched as the Chinese delegate got up, then quickly in Mandarin, effectively said that India wants to say something. The translator barely had a chance to say anything before for the Indian delegate stood up and to the massive complaints of the rest of the world said India wants to say coal will be ‘phased out’.

This went against what PM Modi’s stand had been – he delivered specific time bound constraints. Even the FT had spoken well of India after PM Modi’s speech a fortnight earlier. Now all that was undone.

Why did India do China’s bidding? China is the world’s largest carbon polluter – more than the next 4 countries combined? So why did India take the fall? The Guardian the next day blamed India and India alone.

The meat industry produces more carbon than the top oil producers – yet India (low on the meat industry scale, unlike China) takes the fall and doesn’t point this out.

And here is the kicker – India per capita doesn’t even employ as many people in coal as China. So it’s not jobs.

Why did India not say “We will phase out coal by 2070 and ask China to follow?” Or “We will match China”. My three year old son has more negotiating, messaging and strategic skills.

All those doctors India produces and not one is a spin doctor. Can’t see a PR disaster let alone a climate one, even when it’s a big red Chinese bus – other than to throw itself under it.

The Indian government supports the Paris Agreement which is an international treaty for fighting climate change. India ratified the Paris Agreement on September 3, 2016 along with 140 other nations.

India needs to reduce its emissions by 35% before 2030 in order to be more climate resilient.

The Ministry of Climate Change has set up 5 missions that will help India fight climate change: Mission Innovation, National Adaptation Fund, National Clean Energy Fund, National Green Jobs Mission and International Solar Alliance. These missions are part of India's commitments to the COP26 agenda- they have pledged to invest $2.5 billion for sustainable development between 2018-2020 and work closely with international partners on sustainability solutions for energy poverty and clean energy access across the world.

As President, Pranab Mukherjee, pledged to achieve a 40 percent reduction of carbon emissions by 2030 and financial stability of the country.

President Mukherjee also said that India is ready to defend its interests and put forth their concern regarding climate change and global warming and added, "The international community has established the Paris Agreement as a roadmap for implementing globally binding commitments on mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions."

On November 25, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office released a statement that they will go more towards climate actions such as solar energy (including renewable energy), methane-drinking technologies, nuclear power plants etc.

On December 3, 2016 the Indian Ministry of Forests and Environment released a notification on reducing carbon emissions.

India has set up an Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to reduce its emissions by 33-35% by 2030 and increase its renewable capacity to 40% of the total electricity capacity.

The Ministry of Urban Development is working to make India sustainable and liveable by 2022. The PM had assigned this project to the Minister of Urban Development, Venkaiah Naidu.

The Indian Ministry of the Environment and Forests has determined that India will achieve its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) which is to reduce its emissions by 33-35% by 2030 and increase its renewable capacity to 40% of the total electricity capacity.

So why get a kicking from the Chinese?

I hope PM Modi issues a communique specifying targets on coal phasing out and asks the world to compel China to follow. You’re not a Hindu Nationalist if the Chinese give you a kicking on environment (as a Sikh friend of mine pointed out – ‘you Hindus are meant to care about the environment’) and you’re not a nationalist either if you can’t stick it to your closest adversary.

Credit to the UK and Alok Sharma – everyone agrees he did all he could. I knew him before he was an MP, and once he said to me, ‘you should be doing this’ referring to standing for Parliament. No thanks mate – those buggers brought you to tears. I would have kicked off and hauled them up on the world stage and asked them to explain themselves.

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