Washington: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that climate financing continues to be an area of worry as she flagged India’s concerns over funding mechanism and technology transfer.
Her remarks came ahead of the upcoming COP26 Summit to be held at Glasgow in the United Kingdom. Leaders of nearly 200 countries, including India, will gather at the high-level summit on climate change, scheduled to be held from October 31 to November 12, to discuss the way forward to tackle climate action and submit their updated targets.
Sitharaman said it is unclear how the USD 100 billion per year commitment given in the wake of COP21 has been extended.
“From my side, of course, one of the issues that I did raise and it is also something which many people do take cognisance of, is we actually don’t know if there were any measures given to measure if money spent on a particular project by somebody will be part of that USD 100 billion,” Sitharaman said after the conclusion of her meetings at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank here on Friday.
“So, what constitutes USD 100 billion? How do we measure if actually USD 100 billion has been given or only some of them has been given? So, not just that USD 100 billion per year is coming or not but how do we measure that it is indeed coming or not, is also one of the issues,” she said.
Sitharaman said several participants, both in the IMF and World Bank meetings, highlighted this particular issue.
“So funding is continuing to be a question of worry for many countries, as much as even the transfer of technology,” she said.
“The issue is, again, as much as it is in the fund, do we know which technology that we are asking for transfer? Do we know which are those things which have to be considered for the debate and transfer of technology,” Sitharaman said.
Responding to a question, the finance minister asserted that her view on this was not a reflection of her dissatisfaction.
“I’m not stating it’s a statement of this dissatisfaction because India’s commitments are fulfilled. There are only six countries which kept the nationally determined commitments.
“India has more than done it, and also submitted a report to show that this is what we have done. What has to be achieved by 2030, we have achieved already…almost achieved, and now we’ve scaled up our expectations on renewable (energy), we are touching 450 GW (gigawatt), Sitharaman said.
“So, I don’t think I can be even for a moment, disappointed or dissatisfied, clearly from our side. We are moving with our own resources in fulfilling our commitments,” the minister said.
There are things to be done, she acknowledged.
“It is reminding, because the level at which many countries are, the levels of development at which each one has to be able to comply with an even a nationally determined commitment itself means a lot,” Sitharaman said.
She also expressed concern over growing oil prices.
“So even as I’m putting more money into renewables and trying to be cleaner in the energy that we produce, this price rise is something which is going to be of worry to me,” Sitharaman said.
Responding to a question, the finance minister said sustainable debt funding was discussed during the meetings.
In addition to her meetings at the IMF and the World Bank, Sitharaman had more than 25 bilateral engagements.
Sitharaman has concluded the Washington DC-leg of her US trip. From here, she will go to New York for an interactive session with the business community before flying back home. She started her week-long trip from Boston on Monday. –PTI
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