It has been assessed that of the total unnecessary carbon in the atmosphere, just five countries or blocs are responsible for more than two-thirds of emission: US, European Union, Russia, China and Japan. This is when you count from 1850 onwards.
Why is this relevant? Because the more carbon you add to the earth’s atmosphere, the more temperatures will rise.
According to recent studies made by scientists, it is said that if you add up all the assurances of carbon production cuts made by different countries, the total is still not big enough to prevent global temperatures from crossing the red line of 2° Celsius rise by the end of this century.
And another report released by 16 major global NGOs finds that richer countries or blocs like the US and the European Union are likely to have cuts which are much below their collected shares of emissions. Developing countries like India and China are committing to much more in comparison.
Scientists had earlier decided that a 2° rise will cause sea level rise up to 4 feet because of polar icecaps melting, increasing life-threatening events like typhoons, changes in rainfall patterns and loss of biodiversity.
Till now, all global negotiations, including the Kyoto Protocol, had kept the 2degree-rise as their final target.
195 countries were asked to submit their targets of carbon emission cuts beforehand. In five weeks from now, those 195 countries are going to meet at Paris to thrash out a climate change agreement.
Two issues that caused the biggest discord are responsibility and money at the preparatory talks in Bonn, Germany. Greenhouse gases started rising dangerously in the earth’s atmosphere with the Industrial Revolution in the west.
Many argue that the carbon emitters from the past years have significantly contributed to the rise of carbon emissions than the countries like India who started contributing very recently.
The civil society analysis points out that the developing countries, including India and China, are largely meeting their fair share of emission cuts.