World Indigenous Peoples Day: How net-zero climate goal alienates tribals

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Source: DTE

Relevance: To analyse the concept of ‘Net-Zero’ emission.

Synopsis: With the rising popularity of the ‘Net-Zero’ emission concept, it is time to analyze all its facets.

  • The impacts of climate change are now visible from melting glaciers to climatological disasters. The polluters can no more deny or dismiss this.
  • But they have come up with a new pledge which can be called ‘green washing’ or ‘net-zero’ emissions.
What is Net-zero Emission?

Net-zero emission is the method of balancing the greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere by the greenhouse gas absorption from the atmosphere.

In zero-carbon emission, the country will focus on limiting carbon emission. But in Net-zero carbon the country will focus on bringing the net carbon emission to zero.

In the initial phase, the country will focus on reducing human-caused emissions like burning fossil fuels, balancing factory emissions, etc. But, gradually the Net-zero emissions can be extended to the remaining areas as well.

Read more: Net Zero Emissions Target for India – Explained, Pointwise
Challenges with this concept:
  • Since technologies involved are unproven, most of it will come from land-based removal and storage of carbon dioxide.
  • Oxfam’s report pointed how these goals can end up consuming a large amount of land.
  • The demand on land could lead to challenges of food security.
  • It would also threaten biodiversity, wildlife and indigenous communities.
  • Any measure of vast plantations would tend to ignore local biodiversity.
  • A recent analysis by Land Conflict Watch (LCW) showed that afforestation drives cause massive conflict between state and tribal communities. e.g. more than a hundred thousand hectares of such contested land is locked in compensatory plantations-related conflicts, affecting over 50,000 forest dwellers across six states.
  • LCW (Land Conflict Watch) report also highlighted that more than a million tribal are under the conflict of Forests Rights Act, 2006.
  • The development projects that are undertaken also lead to conflict with indigenous communities e.g. In Kachchh, tribal herdsmen and farmers have been fighting to protect their common lands from the construction of windmills.
  • With India targeting 450 GW of green power, such conflicts are expected to rise.
  • The real issue of emission and focus should be on emission cuts.

What is the way forward?

  • There is a need to educate and create awareness about indigenous people and their rights as any future solution also needs to incorporate them.
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