India to keep a close watch on Lima climate change talks

  • Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Dec 01, 2014 00:52 IST

India will be focusing on the Lima conference after the US and China agreed on reducing carbon emissions and a United Nation’s climate panel report said Mumbai and Kolkata are most vulnerable to climate change-induced coastal flooding.

A lot has changed in global climate geo-politics in the recent months with United States agreeing to reduce its carbon emissions by 26-28% of 2005 level by 2030 and China announcing its emissions peaking year of 2030.

The deal, termed as historic, was announced this month after a meeting between US President Barack Obama and Chinese premier Xi Jinping in Beijing.

Obama in September made India agree to discuss refrigerant coolants, called HFCs, under the Montreal Protocol that provides for incentives to phase out gases and not under UN climate convention, India’s stand for years. In return, India got a US$1 billion aid to push the renewable sector.

Another twist to the tale has been India’s keenness to move away from its old climate ally China. At G-20 summit in Brisbane, India insisted discussion on climate change despite resistance from China.

“Hanging on with second biggest carbon emitter (China) will not help up in climate talks,” said G-20 sherpa Suresh Prabhu. “Our per capita emission is one-third of China’s, the number of poor in our country is much more and we have more vulnerable areas to climate change than China.”

The developments in recent months will come to play at the big climate talks at the Peruvian capital city, where the nuts and bolts of the new agreement expected to be signed in Paris in December 2015, will be tightened.

The biggest question raised at Lima would be whether the American commitment to reduce emissions by 2030 and China’s peaking year would be enough to restrict the temperature rise by two degree Celsius by turn of the century.

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