Environment minister Prakash Javadekar asked rich countries on Monday to commit on the present and come up with emission reduction targets for the pre-2020 period in order to have a successful climate conference in Paris this winter.
A new agreement is to be signed for the post-2020 period but experts say commitment to emission reduction in the pre-2020 period is extremely weak under the second phase of the existing climate treaty, the Kyoto Protocol.
“It will be ironical if we formulate post-2020 architecture without finalising the pre-2020 action plan,” Javadekar said at the St Petersberg Climate Dialogue organised by the German government to formalise a negotiating text for the 196-nation climate summit later this year.
Three years after the United Nations-led climate conference decided to extend the Kyoto Protocol to 2020, it has not been ratified by enough countries to make it an international agreement. The United States, Canada, Japan and Australia are among the major carbonemitting countries that have refused to be a part of Kyoto-2.
India’s move to ask for more commitment on pre-2020 targets is clearly aimed at putting pressure on countries like the United States which have submitted their emission reduction target only for the post-2020 period without any commitment for the interim period. It also deflects the pressure on India and China to accept carbon emission reduction goals.
“In this regard, the pre-2020 actions would be an important signal to the world about our commitment on climate change issues,” Javadekar said, while elaborating on India’s voluntary action to fight climate change.
He also outlined an eight-point charter that included a renewable energy goal of 175 GW by 2022, an increase in cess on coal to fund clean technologies, a new scheme for faster adoption of electric and hybrid vehicles, more money to state governments to create carbon sinks by afforestation and a plan to develop 100 smart cities.
(The writer’s visit to Berlin has been sponsored by the German Foreign Office.)