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Climate deal in Lima: India talks tough

December 10, 2014 14:39 IST

As the negotiations to finalise the 2015 climate deal entered its crucial last days here in the Peruvian capital, Minister for Environment Prakash Javadekar said, "The new post-2020 agreement should ensure a balance between mitigation and adaptation. The urgent need for adaptation must be fully reflected in the new agreement."

Climate changeIndia on Wednesday demanded that the key issue of adaptation must be fully reflected in the new climate agreement to be signed in Paris next year and developed nations should give enough carbon space to developing nations to achieve sustainable growth.

As the negotiations to finalise the 2015 climate deal entered its crucial last days in the Peruvian capital, Minister for Environment Prakash Javadekar said, "The new post-2020 agreement should ensure a balance between mitigation and adaptation. The urgent need for adaptation must be fully reflected in the new agreement."

"Developing countries will not get the carbon space to achieve sustainable development unless there is more ambitious commitments from developed countries in the pre-2020 era," he said, addressing the high-level segment of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties.

"If we believe that the global warming threat is real, then we must deliver on the agreed commitments as a matter of priority," he said, adding it is important therefore for developed countries to urgently fulfil their legal obligations in the pre-2020 period.

"They must scale up their mitigation ambition now and urgently fulfil their promises for providing financial and technological support to developing countries," he added.

He echoed the consistent message of the Indian delegation as well as other developing countries that the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions of all countries should include elements of adaptation, finance, technology and capacity building.

"It is equally evident that developing countries could do more if finance, technology support and capacity building is ensured. This must be a key focus of the new agreement," he said.

The minister said India is committed and ready to play its part in the global fight against climate change.

"We look forward to successful conclusion to the Lima COP. In fact, we hope that this COP will prove to be an exception to the rule and finish its work before on Friday 12th December itself!," he said.

He said India hopes to achieve a positive outcome from the Lima meeting 'which will set us on the path to an ambitious, comprehensive and equitable agreement at Paris next year'.

"We hope to put in place in Lima, the stepping stones towards a post-2020 agreement under the Convention that is comprehensive, balanced, equitable and pragmatic." The new deal should be able to address the genuine requirements of the developing countries by providing them equitable carbon space to achieve sustainable development and eradicate poverty, Javadekar said.

During his address, Javadekar also highlighted several measures taken by the Indian government to address climate change issues.

"The new government in India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi represents the hopes and aspirations of more than a billion Indian people for growth and inclusive development.

“We are pursuing action-oriented policies to bring rapid development to our people while purposefully addressing climate change," he said.

"We have shown that we have the vision and the political will to act."

He said despite facing serious resource constraints, India is undertaking ambitious actions for adaptation and mitigation actions, including through lowering of the energy intensity of it economic growth, increasing energy efficiency across sectors and making greater use of renewables.

Highlighting the "crucial importance" that finance plays in negotiations over climate deal, he said, "Without adequate or solid financial commitment developing countries are unable to form INDCs with any confidence."

In light of $165 million contribution by Australia to the Green Climate Fund, Javadekar noted he felt ‘optimism about Green Climate Fund.’

However, he warned that "the size of public financial resources required is much, much bigger."  

To revive the flagging Adaptation Fund, Javadekar proposed that the GCF be used to finance the Adaptation Fund thereby assuring developing countries some commitment to money for adaptation activities.

Javadekar said the GCF is too small in size to do everything it is meant for.

He called on developed countries to get more creative and innovative with their long-term pension funds, financial, and bond markets in order to reduce costs and risks, all while matching Indian domestic efforts.

However, he maintained that public financing was still important and needed to be increased.

 

Mythili Sampathkumar in Lima
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