India to raise climate finance issue at COP27

Published on Oct 20, 2022 12:27 AM IST

Having updated its nationally determined contribution in August, India is likely to raise the issue of climate finance at the COP27 in November to support deployment of renewable energy projects on a large scale.

Street artists paint a mural on a wall opposite the COP26 climate summit venue in Glasgow on October 13, 2021. (AFP)
Street artists paint a mural on a wall opposite the COP26 climate summit venue in Glasgow on October 13, 2021. (AFP)
ByJayashree Nandi, New Delhi

Having updated its nationally determined contribution (NDC) in August, India is likely to raise the issue of climate finance at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in November to support deployment of renewable energy projects on a large scale.

The focus for India at the conference at Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt between November 6 and 18 will be : a multilaterally agreed definition of finance; a decision on the new collective goal on finance beyond 2025; an assessment of commitment made by the developed countries to provide $100bn/year of climate finance by 2020; and matters related to article 2.1{c} of Paris Agreement.

This article covers the goal of making “finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.” It encompasses private as well as public financial flows to support low emission technologies. On Wednesday, UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, currently visiting the country, urged India to take a leadership role at COP27 for a balanced outcome on finance, adaptation and loss and damage.

India is also developing a long-term strategy (LTS) to achieve net-zero emissions by 2070. Officials said it has not been decided when LTS will be ready for submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Glasgow Climate Pact which was adopted by 196 parties at the Glasgow climate change conference (COP26) states that countries should submit their “low greenhouse gas emission development strategies referred to in Article 4, paragraph 19, of the Paris Agreement towards just transitions to net zero emissions by or around mid-century, taking into account different national circumstances” at COP 27.

“The investments in renewable energy though on an upward trend needs significant scaling up in the light of updated NDC targets. Renewable energy projects, especially in developing countries, face multiple challenges from the institutional, policy and regulatory level to the market and project level barriers, which can hinder the development and uptake of renewable energy. The latter include lack of financing and lack of relevant information on markets and resource availability. India’s aim is to create a pipeline of investment mature projects by actively supporting early stage project development and bridging the funding gap by assisting project developers access appropriate funding opportunities This gap funding needs to met by international climate public financing to attract investors in the renewable energy domain,” a senior environment ministry official said, responding to HT’s query on the key issues for India at COP27.

Climate finance for adaptation and loss and damage are also critical for India. “Inadequate adaptation due to lack of financial and technological resources, capacity building and other constraints lead to losses and damages. Further losses and damages would increase as some limits to adaptation are being reached and more would be at higher levels of warming,” this person added.

Guterres, who is to launch Mission LIFE (Lifestyle for Environment) on Thursday at Ekta Nagar, Gujarat along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi (who came up with the concept at the Glasgow meeting) also flagged the issue of India’s vulnerability to climate change and leadership role at COP27 on Wednesday. He was speaking at the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai.

“COP27 in Cairo will demand strong leadership from India, as we accelerate implementation of the Paris Agreement. I count on India to participate at the highest level, to deliver a balanced outcome that recognizes the importance of adaptation, mitigation and finance. We also need to make serious progress on loss and damage in Cairo,” he said.

Gutteres too focused on the issue of finance.

“ While fully recognizing the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and the respective capacities in light of national circumstances, I have asked emerging economies to take an extra step to close the mitigation gap. But they can only do this with the financial and technical support of developed countries. Those developed countries must do more. That is why I have called for coalitions of support around countries including India, with ambitious plans to accelerate the deployment of renewables. I therefore welcome the establishment of Just Energy Transition Partnerships…I urge India to become a global superpower in renewables technology, and a manufacturing hub to fuel this revolution around the world,” he said.

World Resources Institute published a report titled “State of NDCs” on Wednesday which takes stock of the latest round of countries’ climate plans or nationally determined contributions (NDCs). The new climate plans published until September this year put the world on track to curb emissions by just 7% by 2030 (from 2019 levels), while a 43% emissions drop is needed by that time to keep global warming under 1.5°C. 128 new or updated NDCs were submitted by December 31, 2021. By September, this figure had risen to 139. Countries will communicate a successive round of NDCs in 2025 with an end date of 2035.

India formally updated it’s national determined contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement in August. India’s NDC has two broad quantifiable goals– to reduce emissions intensity of its GDP by 45% by 2030, from 2005 level and to achieve about 50% cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030.

The second quantifiable goal will be implemented with the help of transfer of technology and low-cost international finance including from Green Climate Fund (GCF), the document states. In other words, it is partially conditional to delivery of climate finance, senior environment ministry officials said.

The NDC says this update will help achieve a long term goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2070.

The NDC also states that India will put forward and further propagate a healthy and sustainable way of living based on traditions and values of conservation and moderation, including through a mass movement for ‘LIFE’– ‘Lifestyle for Environment’ as a key to combating climate change. Its objective will be to adopt a climate friendly and a cleaner path than the one followed hitherto by others at corresponding level of economic development.

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