The global community is to sign a new compact on climate change by 2015

India has opposed proposals to sign a piecemeal global climate treaty with greenhouse gas reduction targets being decided first in 2015 and decisions on technology and finance adaptation being segregated and postponed for later years.

The global community is to sign a new compact on climate change under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) by 2015. The negotiations for this deal have been on since 2011 and are beginning to heat up with the next big meeting — referred to as the Conference of Parties (COP), slated for this November in Warsaw, Poland.

Perceiving that the developed countries have through the year been pushing at a piecemeal approach to the global deal, India has put in a submission to the UNFCCC, advocating that all elements of the deal — mitigation, adaptation, technology and finance — should be addressed at the same time as part of a balanced package.

Any action by the developing countries to reduce emissions is required to be enabled by funds and technology from the developed world under the UNFCCC. This linkage between the provision of enabling finance and technology has been diluted over the past few years through successive decisions at the annual COPs. But, the recent push from the developed world to postpone final decisions on all other elements of the 2015 deal, except for mitigation, has been read in the Indian camp as a grand ploy to completely de-link the actions of the developing countries from the support they should rightfully be getting under the UNFCC to achieve these goals.

“In the negotiations throughout this year, we have warned that these elements are part of a balanced package and progress cannot be made on just one at the cost of all others but we have seen that the developed countries are only interested in discussing mitigation till 2015,” said an Indian climate negotiator who wished to remain anonymous.

He explained that such segregation would break the linkage between the provision of finance and technology on one hand, and the mitigation actions on the other.

The Indian submission to the UNFCCC reads, “The work of Ad- Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform is a comprehensive process, covering mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology and capacity building and transparency. It must address the issues related to these pillars of the Convention in a holistic, balanced and coordinated manner.”

The Ad-Hoc Working Group is one track of negotiations under the UNFCCC. It was launched in 2011. This track itself has two distinct streams of talks. One of the two is meant to finalise the new global deal meant to be signed by 2015 and operationalised by 2020. The other stream of talks is also meant to produce decisions on what actions can be taken between now and 2020.

The submissions from the U.S. and the EU in the run-up to the November COP meeting have not inspired much confidence in the Indian negotiating team either. The focus in the submissions has remained strongly on fixing the nature of mitigation actions that they propose should be undertaken in the 2015 compact. On this they have presented detailed suggestions. Their submissions on funds to be made available to the developing world for adaptation, on the other hand, have remained rather general.