New Delhi: India expects “climate action” to take centre stage at the COP27 — the world’s largest annual climate summit. Which means increased climate finance, capacity building, and technology transfer from developed countries, Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav said Thursday.
“Developed countries should fulfil their targets and obligations towards climate finance, which they have failed to do,” Yadav said during an informal interaction with reporters ahead of the summit, which starts on 6 November in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. He will lead an 18-member Indian delegation at COP27.
At last year’s COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, it was revealed that developed countries, which are obligated to deliver $100 billion in climate finance by 2020, would be unlikely to meet this target before 2023. This is to help developing countries — who, while less responsible for today’s global warming, bear the brunt of it — mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.
India will also throw its weight behind the demand for loss and damage finance facility — a fund for climate reparations paid to developing countries that can no longer adapt to the effects of climate change.
India sees discussions on the loss and damage facility as “an integral part of negotiations at COP27”, a source in the environment ministry told ThePrint, adding, “the allocation of this facility, funding arrangements, scope, timelines, governance models and the actions and support on ground should be discussed in detail at Sharm El-Sheikh with directions for a way forward.”
At the COP26, developed countries blocked proposals to create a fund for losses and damages.
Also Read: Adaptation too slow, COP27 must address loss and damage caused by climate change, says UN
Stress on climate finance
Earlier this year, India had pledged to reduce its emissions intensity (volume of emissions per unit of GDP) by 45 per cent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels, as well as achieve about 50 per cent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by the same year. This is contingent upon the “transfer of technology and low-cost international finance including from Green Climate Fund.”
“Till now India is fulfilling its nationally determined contributions (NDCs) obligations, as per the Paris Agreement, mainly through domestic resources. So, India would like to emphasise both on increasing the quantum of financial transfer and transparency in distribution of funds,” the environment ministry source said.
India will push for this climate finance to come in the form of concessional finance or climate-specific grants, as opposed to non-concessional loans, Yadav said. As of 2019, grants made up only 27 per cent of all climate finance flows.
Several studies have shown that current flows in climate finance are not nearly enough to ensure adequate emissions reductions. A UN Committee found that even the $100 billion is dwarfed in the face of developing countries’ climate finance needs, which amount to at least $5.8 trillion
At last year’s negotiations, India, along with other developing countries, demanded that developed nations pay “at least” $1.3 trillion per year between 2025 and 2030 in climate finance.
“The quantity and quality of long term finance should be defined, and it should be tracked in a transparent manner,” Yadav said Thursday, indicating India would continue to push for a quantifiable goal.
The G7 group of countries, among the world’s wealthiest, have invited India to join its Just Energy Transition Partnership — a multilateral platform that seeks to fund the phaseout of coal and reduce emissions in certain developing countries. Coal is among the most polluting fossil fuels.
Reports have emerged saying that should India accept, it will be announced at the COP27.
Both Yadav and Ministry of Environment secretary Leena Nandan, however, declined to comment, saying the matter lay with the Ministry of Power.
At the COP26, India was among the nations which insisted that in the Glasgow Climate Pact, coal be “phased down” and not “phased out”, citing the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities when tackling climate change.
Coal is India’s most important and predominant source of energy, and phasing it out could have implications for the development of its economy, the country had argued.
(This report has been corrected to reflect that loss and damage finance has made it to the COP’s official agenda)
(Edited by Theres Sudeep)
Also Read: Nearly 90% of Jan-Sept days saw extreme weather events in some part of India, says new report