Major Asian economic powerhouses led by the giants – China, Japan and India – have highlighted their rapid green transition at COP28, the UN Climate Conference being held in Dubai.

They have also raised strong voice for all developing countries across the world on their legitimate demands for global support for their green transition.

China’s voice for developing countries

Chinese Vice-Premier Ding Xuexiang, while addressing the World Climate Action Summit at COP28, has called on the developed countries to beef up financial, technological and capacity-building support to the developing nations to fight climate change.

China is ready to work closely with other developing countries to build a green and low-carbon future, Ding, who is President Xi Jinping's special representative, said in his speech at the Group of 77 and China Leaders' Summit on the sidelines of COP28.

China’s renewable revolution

China in recent years has prudently promoted the targets of peaking carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and realizing carbon neutrality before 2060, Ding stressed.

As Chinese news agency Xinhua reported last week, China's total installed capacity of renewable energy rose 20.8 percent year-on-year to top 1.4 billion kilowatts at the end of October this year. The figure accounted for 49.9 percent of the country's total installed power generation capacity. The country's installed capacity of renewable energy is expected to exceed 1.45 billion kilowatts at the end of the year. Power generation from renewable sources reached 2.33 trillion kilowatt-hours in China during the first 10 months of 2023, accounting for 31.8 percent of the country's total power generation during the same period.

India champions Global South’s climate cause

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing a COP28 session on climate finance, championed the cause of the Global South. He pointed out that the responsibility of all the countries of the Global South, including India, has been very less in climate change. “But the ill effects of climate change are much greater on them. Despite lack of resources, these countries are committed to climate action.”

Climate finance and technology are essential to meet the aspirations of the Global South, Modi noted. The countries of the Global South expect the developed countries to help them as much as possible to combat climate change. “This is both natural and justified.”

India’s green transition

Talking at COP28, Bhupender Yadav, Indian Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, highlighted India’s endeavour to decouple economic growth from greenhouse gas emissions. India has successfully reduced the emission intensity in relation to its GDP by 33 percent between 2005 and 2019, thus achieving the initial Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) target for 2030, 11 years ahead of the scheduled time.

India has also achieved 40 percent of electric installed capacity through non-fossil fuel sources, nine years ahead of the target for 2030. Between 2017 and 2023, India has added around 100 gigawatt (GW) of installed electric capacity, of which around 80 percent is attributed to non-fossil fuel-based resources, Yadav said.

Japan’s accelerated green transition

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio announced at COP28 that Japan will accelerate Green Transformation (GX) through initiatives including the implementation of the growth-oriented carbon pricing concept and the issuance of the world's first national transition bonds with international certification, and thereby Japan will contribute to global decarbonisation.

Noting that the first leaders meeting under the framework of the "Asia Zero Emissions Community (AZEC)" is scheduled to be held this month, Prime Minister expressed his strong determination to lead the effort in Asia that accounts for half of the world's emissions, by fully utilizing Japan's financial and technological capabilities.

Prime Minister Kishida further announced that Japan’s commitment to mobilise up to approximately US$70 billion climate finance from both public and private is also on track. Japan is ready to contribute to the expansion of lending capacity totalling approximately US$9 billion through the provision of credit enhancements to the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, as well as to contribute to the new fund of the African Development Bank, he added.

South Korea bridges Global South and North

At COP28, South Korea has played its part in bridging the gap between developed and developing nations, Han Wha-jin, Minister of Environment of Republic of Korea, told the Emirates News Agency (WAM).

Following the adoption of the Paris Agreement, the Republic of Korea made a commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and set a goal of a 40 percent emissions reduction by 2030 from 2018 levels, she said.

Korea is actively participating in various international partnerships, fulfilling its role in carbon mitigation, and leveraging the worldwide push towards net-zero, the minister explained.

On the finance front, South Korea has pledged to contribute an additional US$300 million to the Green Climate Fund at the G20 Summit and committed to supporting the Adaptation Fund, she noted.

Indonesia’s call for south-south cooperation

Indonesian President Joko Widodo called for strengthening South-South cooperation at COP28.

“Through the South-South cooperation framework, Indonesia has provided climate management training for Africa, South Asia, Latin America, Caribbean and Pacific regions,” he said.

President Widodo stressed that developing countries should be part of the solution to climate change.