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Thursday, February 02 2023
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COP26: India bats for collective resolve to combat climate change

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Glasgow: India on Friday November 12 asked the world leaders assembled at the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 to deliver a strong message regarding their collective resolve for accelerated mitigation and adaptation actions to combat climate change in this decade.

“This message will have credibility only if accompanied by an equally strong resolve of developed country parties to mobilise and provide enhanced climate finance to developing country parties,” noted a statement read by Union Environment, Forests and Climate Change Minister Bhupender Yadav hours ahead of the end of the 26th meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The outcomes of COP26 must reflect the urgency in scaling up finance and other means of implementation support to developing countries, he stressed at the stocktake plenary.

“We express our disappointment at the lack of significant progress in climate finance related agenda items. We add our voice in support of other parties and groups like the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) that have called for continuation of the long-term finance agenda under the convention, for a mandate to the standing committee of finance to deliver a multilaterally agreed definition of climate finance and for a structured process that will deliver the new quantified goal for climate finance well before 2025.”

The Minister said the overwhelming role of historical cumulative emissions in bringing the world to 1.1 degrees rise in temperature must be noted and urgency in ambition must begin with actions of developed country parties.

He was categorically clear in saying that in reaching net zero the developed world must stay within their fair share of the global carbon budget, enabling access to carbon space for developing countries.

The developed countries must enhance their NDCs and reach net zero much before 2050. The meagre carbon budget is first and foremost the right and entitlement of developing countries.

Hence rapid mitigation actions by developed countries in this decade, is vital to keep 1.5 degrees within reach.

Yadav said adaptation is an agenda of critical importance for developing countries.

“We must not leave Glasgow without strong equitable and just decisions on adaption,” he added.

The science is clear in a stark warning ahead of the COP26 in a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a United Nations organisation, that warns human activity is damaging the planet at an alarming rate.

The report says climate change is already affecting every region across the globe and that without urgent action to limit warming, heatwaves, heavy precipitation, droughts, and loss of Arctic Sea ice, snow cover and permafrost, will all increase while carbon sinks will become less effective at slowing the growth of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

So the Glasgow summit is a key moment for countries, cities, businesses and more to keep the Paris Agreement on climate change on track and put forward ambitious, equitable solutions for a zero-carbon future. And this is what the UK Presidency is aiming to achieve.

The UK is scheduled to conclude the talks on Friday officially, but going by the track record, the negotiations may spill over to the next days. The last COP ran on for two extra days.

By Vishal Gulati

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