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  • Context (TH): Researchers argue that current climate action scenarios overlook the historical responsibility of developed countries and lack equity prioritisation.
  • For e.g, Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) used for mitigation pathways often neglect equity principles.
  • They advocate for models and scenarios that prioritise equity and climate justice.
  • A recent study provides evidence supporting the aforementioned assertions.

About Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Reports

  • The reports by the UN IPCC are currently in its Seventh Assessment cycle (AR7).
  • These reports assess climate-related scientific literature to provide insights into the state of knowledge on climate change.
  • The UN IPCC utilises Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) to develop “modelled pathways” to estimate global warming. For example, its energy models can project future consumption.
  • IAMs are sophisticated models that analyse human and earth systems to forecast potential futures for energy, climate, and economies.
  • These models integrate various disciplines, including macroeconomics, energy consumption, land use changes, and climate dynamics, to offer policy-relevant insights on climate action.
  • However, IAMs have limitations.
    • Firstly, it prioritises least-cost assessments. For e.g, the absolute cost of setting up a solar plant or undertaking afforestation in India is lower than in the U.S.
    • Secondly, it neglects equitable burden-sharing among nations (Equity).
  • Despite these shortcomings, IAMs play a crucial role in informing climate policy decisions.

Findings of the new study

  • Researchers from the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru, and M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai, conducted the study. They assessed 556 out of 700 scenarios in IPCC’s AR6 report.
  • They found that Global scenarios projected in IPCC’s AR6 report indicate more carbon sequestration and CCS deployment in developing nations.
  • This implies that developing countries may bear the responsibility for both mitigation and carbon dioxide removal.
  • The scenarios overlook the historical responsibility of the Global North for climate issues.

Way forward

  • The UNFCCC emphasises equity and differentiated responsibilities, urging developed nations to take the lead in fighting climate change.
  • Equity suggests that developed areas should aim for net negative emissions and share the remaining carbon budget with less developed regions.
  • Developed regions should take more responsibility for reducing emissions and supporting less developed areas in their climate efforts.
  • This approach aims to ensure fairness and equal participation in addressing climate change across regions.
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