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Won’t revise official climate pledge till financing clear, says Indian delegate

ByJayashree Nandi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Nov 10, 2021 05:11 PM IST

COP 26: India alone will need $1 trillion by 2030 to fund its decarbonisation efforts and build its renewable energy capacity, the Indian delegate said.

India will not update its NDCs, or nationally determined contributions, to reflect the pledges made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Climate Leader’s Summit at Glasgow on November 1 and 2, which was part of the ongoing climate conference (COP 26), until there is clarity on climate finance, a senior member of the Indian delegation said on condition of anonymity.

An activist holds up a placard against climate crisis in Glasgow, Scotland, on October 30. (AFP)

The delegate’s comment comes even as developed countries continue to quibble about the size and timing of their climate funding commitment ($100 billion a year by 2020 was promised back in 2009), including deferring a decision on the most sticky point of COP 26 to the next summit, COP 27, in 2022.

India alone will need $1 trillion by 2030 to fund its decarbonisation efforts and build its renewable energy capacity, the Indian delegate added.

“ We will need $1 trillion till 2030 mainly for renewable energy and storage; decarbonisation of industrial sector and adaptation. Let’s be clear that India will not update its NDCs till there is clarity on climate finance. We are in no mood to submit them until these issues are resolved,” the Indian delegate stressed.

Last week, during his speech at the summit, Modi, who made five pledges including a net zero deadline, also asked for enhanced climate finance. “It is India’s expectation that the world’s developed nations make $1 trillion available as climate finance as soon as possible,” Modi said, announcing that India will increase its non-fossil fuel energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030; fulfil 50% of its energy requirements from renewable energy sources by 2030; reduce its total projected carbon emissions by 1 billion tonnes between now and 2030; reduce the carbon intensity of its economy by 45% by 2030; and achieve the target of net zero emissions by 2070.

India released a statement on Monday evening stating that it expects a structured process to arrive at an ambitious new collective quantified finance goal.

“We record our deep disappointment with the deliberations in the COP 26 so far. Developed countries must accept the historical responsibility and provide the financial resources to the developing countries,” the statement for the first high level ministerial dialogue on climate finance presented by Chandni Raina advisor, department of economic affairs, said.

The global action on climate change is contingent on the delivery of timely and adequate finance, India said, adding that “developed countries took a commitment in 2009 to mobilize $100 billion per year by 2020 for climate action by developing countries. The promise has not been met. Scaling up mobilization is pertinent given the huge gap between the requirement and extent of mobilisation.”

India made it clear that the resources mobilised must be new and additional, climate-specific, and with an emphasis on public finance -- a move that comes even as some developed countries seek to expand the definition of climate finance to include private sector investments.

“Considering the importance of adaptation for developing countries, the resource flow should be equally available for mitigation and adaptation...we seek greater predictability and transparency in respect of the finance flows and believe that appropriate implementation of Article 9.5 (providing information on climate finance being provided by each developed country) of the Paris Agreement including a clear outline of the elements that should go into assessing the climate finance provided,is critical,” it said.

A draft COP decision on long-term climate finance was circulated on Tuesday. It suggested that the issue of long-term finance may not be resolved during COP 26. It put forward a number of options including continuing discussions on long-term climate finance up to 2025; inviting the COP 27 presidency (Egypt) to organise a high-level ministerial dialogue on climate finance, to be convened in 2022, on the progress in mobilising and fulfilling the goal of $100 billion per year by 2020; establishing a measurement and tracking platform for tracking progress of $100 billion per year by 2020; and agreeing that starting in 2022, the biennial in-session workshops and the biennial high-level ministerial dialogue on climate finance will cover the delivery of the $100 billion goal up to 2025, and the overall implementation of Article 9 of the Paris Agreement.

The draft also continues to have an option of ending all deliberations on long term finance at COP 26.

“We don’t agree with this delaying tactic. We will make that clear in all forums,” the Indian delegate cited in the first instance said.

Several negotiators from developing country groups indicated that the EU doesn’t want to see a separate section on adaptation finance in the COP 26 cover decision and that the bloc has not agreed to the doubling of adaptation finance.

HT did not get a response from EU spokesperson on the matter till 5 pm on Tuesday. At the high-level plenary session on Tuesday at COP26, the European Commission announced a new pledge of €100 million in finance for the Adaptation Fund. Executive-Vice-President, EU, Frans Timmermans said: “We have to scale up international climate finance and provide a predictable framework for its delivery. The Adaptation Fund can play a key role and that is why I am pleased to announce for the first time that the European Commission is committing €100 million to the Fund, to support developing countries.”

India’s lead climate negotiator, Richa Sharma, flagged on Monday that developed countries are trying to renegotiate who or which countries will provide resources for climate change mitigation, and how often nationally determined contributions (NDCs) will be updated, violating principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR: countries will take action as per their respective capabilities) during Glasgow climate talks.

The Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) released an analysis on the sidelines of COP 26 which said China, the US, and the EU are likely to occupy more than 90% of the available 1.5 degree C carbon space by 2050. This would leave little room for developing nations including India to grow their economies in the coming decades. Also, the three big emitters would consume 45% of the available carbon space by 2030. “India, on the other hand, would emit 59% less than China, 58% less than the US, and 49% less than the EU, from 1850 to 2100, on a cumulative basis, despite turning net zero two decades later than the US and the EU and a decade later than China,” the analysis said.

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