UNFCCC and India’s Interests

Dec 24th, 2014 | By | Category: Government Policies, India, UNFCCC

Climate Change(2)The Climate Change Conference of Parties under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol was held in Lima (Peru) this year . In this regard, the minister of state for environment, forest and climate change, Prakash Javadekar, issued a Suo-muto statement in Loksabha. During the speech he said that the final decision was reached after long deliberations and intense negotiations between parties.  He elaborated on the key focus of the negotiations.

He said that the Indian delegation was tasked with protecting India’s long term interests and emphasizing the need for growth and development space to tackling the problem of eradicating poverty, providing energy access to all and addressing other developmental priorities.

The delegation was guided by the vision of the Government and Cabinet mandate.  Its stand in the negotiations was also guided by the principle of Equity and Common but Differentiated Responsibilities, which is the bedrock principle of the UNFCCC.  The Conference decided that the new agreement will be under the Convention and will reflect the principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities in the light of different national circumstances.

It was also agreed that the new agreement will address all elements that is mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology development and transfer, capacity building and transparency of action and support in a balanced manner. Another key decision was regarding the INDCs to achieve the objective of the Convention as set out in Article 2 of the Convention.

Here, it was decided that countries should not backslide from current pledges.  This is especially relevant in view of the action of some countries, which had gone back on their Kyoto Protocol commitments.  The Lima Conference agreed that the contribution of countries has to be more than their current commitments.

The enhancement of action in the pre-2020 period was another important issue.  It was decided to accelerate action on enhancing the pre-2020 actions like early ratification of the Kyoto Protocol second commitment period, revisiting of targets and conditionalities associated with it and provision of finance, technology and capacity building support by developed countries to developing countries in consonance with Warsaw decisions.  The Parties also agreed to organise further Technical Expert Meetings to examine options for further action in the period 2015-2020.

On the issue of finance, it was decided that developed countries parties will provide and mobilise enhanced financial support to developing country parties for ambitious mitigation and adaptation action.  The Green Climate Fund has been set up and over 10 billion US dollars have already been pledged to it.

However, the goal of mobilising 100 billion US dollars per year by 2020 is still a far cry.  It was also decided to urge contributors to confirm pledges in the form of fully executed contribution agreements taking note of the fact that at least 50% of pledges made till November, 2014 should be reflected as fully executed contribution agreements by 30th April, 2015.

The political consensus across the country on the issue of climate change has strengthened India’s hands and it was able to project successfully the various initiatives taken by the Government including the ambitious target of generating 100,000 MW of solar energy, doubling of cess on coal for clean technologies, rapid afforestation through the Green India Mission and devolution of CAMPA funds to the states, expansion in wind energy and other Energy Efficiency measures.

The delegation is currently working on the voluntary national goal of reducing energy intensity of GDP by 20-25 per cent by 2020 as compared to the base year of 2005.  The recent UNEP Emission Gap report (2014) has recognised India as being one of the countries on track to achieve the voluntary pledges.  It is committed to taking pro-active steps on enhancing energy efficiency and expansion of renewable in the fight against climate change. At the same time adaptation measures in agriculture, water resources and urban areas will remain our key priority.

The next year is likely to witness a series of meetings to finalise the new 2015 agreement.  The delegation will continue to participate actively in the negotiations and ensure that it is rooted in the Convention and its principles and our national interests.

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