News Karnataka
Thursday, December 09 2021


India’s climate negotiations stance to get Cabinet approval next week

New Delhi: Amid increased pressure on India to agree for “net zero” ahead of the annual climate change conference starting from October 31, top Environment Ministry officials said the Union Cabinet meeting on October 27 will approve of what India’s stand should be at the COP.

The 26th edition of the annual Conference of Parties (COP26) United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will be taking place from October 31 for two weeks at UK’s Glasgow. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who would be attending the G20 Summit on October 30 and 31, will then head to the UK for the high-level segment.

The major ask at the COP26, Ministry officials said, will be climate finance. India and other developing countries have been insisting on the developed world to fulfill their promises to provide $0100 billion per year before asking the poorer countries to enhance their ambition.

India’s annual emissions – according to the latest biennial report submitted to the UNFCCC in 2018 – is 1.96 tonnes per person. Compared to that, China’s annual emissions stands at 8.4 tonnes per person, the US is 18.6 tonnes per person while the EU’s is 7.16 per cent. India’s quantum is not just way below all these high emitting nations but also well below 6.64 tonnes per person.

Plus, India is already on the verge of achieving its Renewal Energy (RE) target as promised under the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) – individual nation’s actions leading to collective actions to ensure that emissions are kept in check to restrict global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial era – and has even announced a further target of 450 GW of RE by 2030.

As per Paris Agreement, it is not compulsory now to update NDCs but any nation that wants can do so.

“Given this situation, India will walk in with a position of strength and focus, apart from climate finance, on climate justice, market mechanism, Article 6, loss and damage and the actual framework of the Paris Agreement,” an official said.

Officials agreed that at the bilateral meetings in the run up to the COP with major world leaders or their representatives or even before the foreign delegates have been keen to know when would India declare net zero?

But, the officials said, “net zero is not compulsory for all countries; under the ‘Common But Differentiated Responsibility (CBDR)’, rich nations going negative would be enough to balance it.”

To a pointed question as to why the whole talk ahead of the COP26 is focused only on ‘energy’ when there are multiple aspects to the NDCs, an official said, “Major damage is due to energy. Major contribution in carbon emissions, almost 75-80 per cent, comes from the energy sector.”

The Indian position ahead of the COP would be an outcome of inter-ministerial deliberations with a role set out for each of the Ministry. But the details have been kept under wraps for the surprise element. “You will need to wait till next week to know that!” is all that officials say.

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