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How will Biden’s plan on climate crisis impact India?

By Bharati Chaturvedi

Joe Biden has reworked his climate crisis plan, under pressure from younger activists and workers in the United States, to make it ambitious and more result-oriented. He acknowledges that the economy and environment are interconnected.

According to the Washington Post, Biden’s new plan calls “for the elimination of carbon pollution from the electric sector by 2035, for the US to rejoin the international Paris climate accord and spend $2 trillion over four years to boost renewables and create incentives for more energy-efficient cars, homes and commercial buildings”.

But, for India — and other developing countries — the question is about what America will do about its historic emissions. The climate crisis is largely because of the emissions from the wealthy nations over the years. Small Island Nations are extraordinarily vulnerable-some might even disappear. There’s also India-severely impacted, as freak climate events here have shown.

Ideally, nations historically guilty of inflicting this on us and others should finance our efforts to adapt to and mitigate climate change — this is germane to the Equal but Differentiated Responsibilities. But Biden’s plans focus on the US.

This is not fine for a country that calls itself a global leader. One hopes that Biden will detail this, although it is likely to be unpopular with Americans in the current economic scenario. A Presidential candidate is already a global face.

Their plan must reflect how they intend to empower India and other countries to combat the crisis.

 (The writer is the Founder and Director of the Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group)

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