Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar. (Photo: PTI)
Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar. (Photo: PTI)

Delhi may urge developed nations to fulfil climate finance pledges by 2020

  • India will participate with a constructive and positive outlook, Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar says
  • The 25th Conference of Parties will see talks on climate action after 2020—when the Paris pact comes into force

NEW DELHI : India is likely to urge developed countries to fulfil their climate finance commitments by 2020 at the 25th Conference of Parties (COP) on climate change on 2-13 December.

The 25th COP to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) to be held in Spain’s capital Madrid, is expected to host discussions on climate action after 2020 when the 2015 Paris Agreement comes into effect. The signatories are to submit new and tougher climate action plans due next year.

A total of 197 countries, including India, have signed the agreement to keep the global average temperature increase this century to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, while pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C.

India will participate with a constructive and positive outlook and work toward protecting its long-term development interests, environment minister Prakash Javadekar, who will lead the Indian delegation, said in a statement on Wednesday.

India has been chasing ambitious climate goals but has struggled to find the money. Developed countries including the US had committed to mobilizing $100 billion per annum for climate adaptation and mitigation by 2020.

However, the funds are yet to be disbursed. The process has also been marred by continuing lack of clarity on climate finance.

“India has reduced its emission intensity by 22% over 2005 and is among the few countries to have increased its tree cover in and around the forests," Javadekar said.

The Union environment minister said India remains committed to its goals and pointed out that the country was the first to propose a Solar Alliance and Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, and that its renewable energy programme of 450 Gigawatts (GW) is one of the largest in the world.

India has maintained that developed countries should lead in taking ambitious action and progressively and substantially scale up their financial support to inform others for future action through Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

“India will further stress upon the need for fulfilling pre-2020 commitments by developed countries and that pre-2020 implementation gaps should not present an additional burden to developing countries in the post-2020 period," as per India’s negotatian stand, approved by the cabinet chaired by prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday.

The country will need $206 billion (at 2014-15 prices) between 2015 and 2030 to implement new technologies and practices in agriculture, disaster management, and other allied sectors for climate action, according to India’s recent Economic Survey.

The negotiating stand is in line with its statements at the 24th COP held last year in Katowice, Poland, where India called for clarity on climate finance and said that, until 2017, only 12% of the total pledges to multilateral climate funds have actually led to disbursements.

Developing nations want assurances that they will be supported as they commit to new and tougher climate plans. The question over the advanced economies’ $100 billion commitment by 2020 to aid developing countries is likely to be raised in Madrid.

The issue is important in light of the urgency of climate action, and UN Secretary General António Guterres’ expected call for countries to stop feeding their coal addiction, submit carbon neutrality plans by 2050 and end the trillions spent supporting the fossil fuel sector. Rising costs of loss and damage linked to climate extremes will also be a compelling issue for COP25.

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