Members of the Indian delegation at the 20th session to the Conference of the Parties (COP20) made it clear that “adaptation is critical to the country’s development paradigm” in view of climate change.
The new government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been a strong advocate of adaptation measures since coming to power in New Delhi in May 2014.
Without denying the importance of “mitigation”, India is seeking to include the “adaptation” element in a new global climate agreement set to be addressed in Lima from 1-12 December and finalised at COP21 in Paris at the end of next year.
Susheel Kumar, a key member of the Indian delegation in Lima, gave a submission in a ‘contact group’ on adaptation and said: “When we say balance, it is not only political parity with mitigation. It is a total parity — be it financial flow or allocations, legally binding status, technology transfer or sense of urgency and commitments. We would like that to be there in the entire text. We would also like a long term global goal for adaptation to be clearly articulated in qualitative and quantitative terms”.
Kumar’s remarks reflect India’s desire for the new climate treaty to focus more on “adaptation” than on “mitigation” with many developing countries still needing to develop and create unavoidable emissions in the process.
Kumar also elaborated on India’s ongoing adaptation measures through various plans under its national policies to combat the climate change.
He referred to the Indian government’s recent establishment of a National Adaptation Fund for providing financial, technical and capacity building support at national and state level for implementation of adaptation activities in the country.
It is expected that India will present its position on adaptation more fully during the high-level segment of the climate talks next week.
Kumar said, “We reserve the right to give additional submissions on adaptation in the course of negotiations, because adaptation is critical to our development paradigm in view of climate change”.
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