At meeting convened by the UN, Bhupender Yadav seeks transparency on climate finance

Bhupender Yadav stressed that even at the UNFCCC there is a very urgent need for giving due importance to adaptation and discuss whether the scale of resources is commensurate with the scale of the needs of developing countries
Union environment minister Bhupender Yadav said that the developed countries have collectively emitted more than their estimated emission allowances in 2008-2020 period hence they should take greater action on mitigation and provide financial support to developing countries. (PTI)
Union environment minister Bhupender Yadav said that the developed countries have collectively emitted more than their estimated emission allowances in 2008-2020 period hence they should take greater action on mitigation and provide financial support to developing countries. (PTI)
Updated on Sep 21, 2021 12:26 AM IST
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ByJayashree Nandi

New Delhi: Union environment minister Bhupender Yadav raised the issue of transparency on climate finance and technology transfer from developed countries to developing nations at an informal, closed-door roundtable of heads of states convened by the UN secretary general, Antonio Guterres and UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson on the 1.5 degree C climate goal, on Monday.

Yadav told the participants (mostly heads of states. A list will be released by UN) that in light of the recent findings from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report and the latest NDC Synthesis report (released by United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) that the developed countries have collectively emitted more than their estimated emission allowances in 2008-2020 period hence they should take greater action on mitigation and provide financial support to developing countries.

“Yadav stressed that even at the UNFCCC there is a very urgent need for giving due importance to adaptation and discuss whether the scale of resources is commensurate with the scale of the needs of developing countries… he called upon the developed countries to fulfil their promise of the USD 100 billion per year goal made in 2009. COP26 should focus on climate finance in scope, scale and speed and transfer of green technologies at low cost,” a statement from MoEFCC said on Monday.

Officials familiar with the meeting said India hasn’t made any commitment to enhance its nationally determined contribution (NDC) yet because it will be decided at the highest level of the government.

“We have however made it clear that we are on track to meet our NDC and have a very ambitious renewable energy goal which surpasses the NDC. We will be part of the solution and not problem creators. Transparency on climate finance and technology transfer is what we have asked for ahead of COP 26 because that will be key in determining actions of developing countries,” the official said. He added that “the commitment to enhance NDC can be taken only at the highest levels which has not yet taken place. India at the moment doesn’t plan to announce a net zero emissions target,”

Immediately after the meeting, UN secretary general Antonio Guterres held a short media stakeout where he said there is a high chance that the upcoming UN climate change negotiations (COP 26) in November will fail. “We still dramatic improvements in NDCs for mitigation of emissions. I understand the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) but it is also essential that emerging economies go the extra mile in mitigating emissions. All G20 members should come on board because they represent 80% of emissions,” he said adding that the world needs decisive action now and commitments for net zero emissions by 2050 from all countries.

He also explained why he thought that COP 26 could end in failure. Though some countries have made encouraging statements on Monday about delivering on the 100 billion a year climate fund commitment from developed nations, it is yet to be delivered on and remains open as to how developed world will build trust on delivering that money. There is also this sense that developed countries that have announced net zero commitments are passing the buck to emerging economies saying its their turn to take emission cuts while the developing nations are arguing that developed countries have historical responsibility to take larger emission cuts and earlier than the developing countries. “We need solidarity otherwise we are headed for catastrophe,” added Guterres saying that it was still possible keep global warming under 1.5 degree over pre-industrial levels.

The meeting took place days after the UNFCCC released its NDC synthesis report which said that present NDCs and the increase in global emissions may lead to a temperature rise of about 2.7C by the end of the century compared to pre-industrial levels. The available NDCs of all 191 Parties taken together implies an increase in global greenhouse gas emissions of 16% in 2030 compared to 2010. Around 113 Parties have submitted new or updated NDCs as on July 30, 2021. This would lead to a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions by 12% in 2030 compared to 2010. Out of the 113 parties, 70 countries indicated carbon neutrality goals around the middle of the century. This goal could lead to even greater emissions reductions of about 26% by 2030 compared to 2010, the UNFCCC said on September 17.

The Informal Climate Leaders Roundtable on Climate Action follows the recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and comes less than six weeks before the COP26.

PCC’s report last month flagged that the world may have lost the opportunity to keep global warming under 1.5 degree C over pre-industrial levels. The 1.5 degree C global warming threshold is likely to be breached in the next 10 to 20 years by 2040 even if carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions decline rapidly to net zero around 2050, it said.

Some experts said it was time for India to enhance its NDC with certain programmes it was already working on like the commitment to increase renewable energy by 450 GW by 2030. These enhancements to NDC can be conditional to delivery of climate finance from developed countries. “India’s domestic plans on renewable energy, electric mobility, green hydrogen, and net zero railways are very ambitious. These could also be announced as updates to its NDC, perhaps conditional on low-cost climate finance. On their part, rich countries with a large historical climate footprint need to respond to the palpable frustration among developing countries over the persistent lack of climate finance,” said Ulka Kelkar, director-climate program, World Resources Institute.

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Thursday, December 09, 2021