India, like-minded nations to negotiate together at climate change summit
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India will negotiate together with a so-called group of like-minded developing countries (LMDCs) at the climate change summit in Paris at the year-end, environment minister Prakash Javadekar said on Tuesday.
At the end of a two-day meeting of negotiators from 13 LMDCs in New Delhi, Javadekar asked rich nations to walk the talk in transferring funds to the poor to mitigate the effects of climate change.
China, Bolivia, Cuba, El Salvador, Ecuador, Iran, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Malaysia, Vietnam, Argentina and Saudi Arabia participated in the meeting to draw up a common strategy before an October meeting in Bonn where the negotiating text for the Paris summit will be finalized.
“Last two days, 13 LMDCs deliberated on each and every aspect of the probable Paris agreement,” Javadekar said. “We are positive and we want Paris to succeed because we are the countries that are vulnerable... We are ready to cooperate with each other to arrive at a good conclusion.”
He added: “...if developed world doesn’t walk the talk on issue of finance, there will be a problem for the Paris outcome. I hope the developed world will consider it and rise to the occasion, and we all together will move to a new regime where every country takes voluntary actions (to reduce emissions).
“If human intervention has caused climate change, human intervention possibly will contribute in mitigating the challenge,” he added.
Javadekar’s assertion that India would negotiate in Paris together with LMDCs is contrary to the views of chief economic advisor Arvind Subramanian that India should align with coal-rich countries and distance itself from poor and developing countries at the talks.
Subramanian’s stand was first reported by the Business Standard newspaper on 12 August.
In a break from India’s carefully built position of common but differentiated responsibilities, Subramanian suggested to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and finance minister Arun Jaitley that India should stop insisting on retaining the way of differentiating in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) between rich and developing countries, and stop seeking finance from rich countries.
On Tuesday, Javadekar said the core agreement that’s reached in Paris should include all the pillars of UNFCCC.
In the evening, the LMDC delegation met Prime Minister Modi, where the PM assured them that India stands shoulder-to-shoulder with them on climate issues.
He emphasized on the need for the developed world to fulfil its commitments with regard to sharing clean technology and providing financial assistance to help the developing world combat climate change, while simultaneously meeting its legitimate development aspirations.
Modi said that while developed countries should have targets for emission cuts, developing countries should work on targets of encouragement, such as initiatives towards renewable energy and green buildings.
Some 190 countries from across the world are scheduled to meet in Paris in December to strike a new global climate deal. By September-end, all the countries have to announce their intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs), which would form the basis of the December Paris summit.
INDCs are a set of voluntary actions that each country will announce to address the issue of climate change.
On Monday, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) called a meeting of key ministries like the environment and the new and renewable energy ministries to give shape to India’s INDCs.
An environment ministry official, who did not want to be named, said: “India’s INDCs are ready and are only awaiting a final nod from the Prime Minister’s Office. After final clearance from PMO, the INDCs would come to cabinet for clearance. It is expected before PM Narendra Modi leaves for US next week.”
The New Delhi meeting of LMDCs ended with the release of a statement that said the Paris summit should recognize and address the adverse social and economic impact of climate change response measures in developing countries.
The delegates agreed that “the Paris agreement should not be mitigation-centric but must address in a balanced and comprehensive manner the six elements identified in the Durban mandate—mitigation, adaptation, finance, capacity-building, technology development and transfer, transparency of action and support, as well as loss and damage in a balanced manner”.
LMDCs asked developed countries to provide a road map towards the transfer of $100 billion (Rs.6.6 trillion today) in mitigation funds per year by 2020.