‘India to push for climate finance at global summit’, says Bhupender Yadav
Bhupender Yadav said India is considering several options ahead of COP 26 but it will argue for a “common level playing field” for developed and developing nations so that their climate ambitions can be comparable.
India will pursue ways to mitigate the climate crisis beyond its present nationally determined contribution (NDC), and will act constructively to combat the problem, Union environment minister Bhupender Yadav told Jayashree Nandi in an interview before leaving for the Glasgow climate change conference (COP 26). Yadav said India is considering several options ahead of COP 26 but it will argue for a “common level playing field” for developed and developing nations so that their climate ambitions can be comparable. Climate finance and technology access provided by developed countries will be instrumental in determining actions that India will take. Excerpts:
What will India’s stance at COP 26 be?
Under the leadership of PM Modi, India has almost achieved its present NDCs that it declared in 2015. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its sixth assessment report informed humanity that global warming will pose a danger to each and every one of us. So, we believe that individual effort by each country will resolve this global crisis. How India is pursuing its present NDCs should set an example for all countries. India has also initiated some new forums like the International Solar Alliance, Coalition of Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, Leadership Group for Industry Transition. Apart from dialogues with other countries, such forums also provide avenues to innovate and cooperate. At COP 26 too, India will push for a common level playing field for all countries by pushing for climate finance and technology transfer. India will act to solve the problem.
What are key issues for India at COP 26?
Like I said, for a common level playing field for both developed and developing countries, finance mobilisation and technology transfer is a must. Countries with historic responsibility for high carbon emissions should have a commensurate role in mitigation of the climate crisis. It’s the duty of developed nations.In this COP following the IPCC report, a transparency framework (review of mitigation actions taken by countries), climate finance, and mitigation will be very important. India will play a constructive role during negotiations on these issues.
Will India’s goal of 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030 be announced as part of its NDC?
We have nearly achieved our present NDCs and we have already made our goals more ambitious. We can do more than what is in our NDC. Whether the 450 GW goal is in our NDC or not India will do more than what it has promised.
Have you rejected the idea of a net zero goal for India?
No. We haven’t said anything like that. Options are open for us. We are a solution provider. We haven’t claimed anything like rejecting net zero goal. Our leadership will announce our climate goal at an appropriate time and appropriate forum.
How will India argue for equity and common but differentiated responsibility in climate crisis mitigation?
Climate crisis mitigation is a common goal for all countries but every country’s social, economic, and geographic circumstances are different. We are not on the same level playing field. I think our mitigation targets can be similar only when technological innovation and finance is made available to all. Vulnerable countries need to be supported on priority. Negotiations are not about competing; they are for everyone’s well-being and benefit. We need a consensus on saving the planet.
What will India’s view on carbon markets be?
Under the Kyoto protocol, we had market mechanisms. Some developed countries moved away from them. That mechanism needs to be considered. When we talk about carbon credits under Article 6 (of the Paris agreement), we should also consider historical wrongs and contribution to climate change. There should be a provision of green credits also which can contribute to climate finance. The new market mechanism shouldn’t be an approach where one part of the planet becomes a dump yard and another cleans up its emissions at the cost of the other side. That should not happen. There should be a balancing act and green contribution to climate finance which can support developing nations. Article 6 is a matter of negotiation. It’s important to us.
Chinese President Xi Jinping may not be attending COP 26. In the recent past China has occupied a very large share of carbon space. How do you see their role?
Carbon space will be a matter of negotiation. There should be consensus that whoever occupies carbon space has an impact on the world by contributing to global warming. The impacts will also be felt across their boundary wall.