India to announce climate commitments on Gandhi Jayanti

Climate change on the agenda of Obama-Modi meeting

Updated - November 16, 2021 04:12 pm IST

Published - September 27, 2015 12:10 am IST

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup: "That ( Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary) would be an appropriate day to announce India’s INDCs". File photo: Sandeep Saxena

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup: "That ( Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary) would be an appropriate day to announce India’s INDCs". File photo: Sandeep Saxena

India will announce on October 2 its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) in the lead up to the Paris climate summit in December, the government indicated on Friday, hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the U.N. General Assembly that the country’s development goals and the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) were the same.

“October 2 is the birth anniversary of a great Indian and a great world leader, Mahatma Gandhi, who passionately believed in sustainable development. That would be an appropriate day to announce India’s INDCs,” Vikas Swarup, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson, said. October 1 is the deadline for declaring the INDCs, and India will miss it by a day. The INDCs of countries will form the basis for climate negotiations at the Conference of Parties (CoP) 21 under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris in December. The U.S. administration has said that climate change would be on the agenda of President Barack Obama’s meeting with Mr. Modi on Monday. After a two-day tour of the Silicon Valley in the west coast of the U.S., the Prime Minister will travel back to New York for the meeting.

Mr. Modi said in his U.N. speech that the negotiations would have to be based on the idea of “climate justice” rather than climate action. He elaborated on the climate-friendly initiatives planned for the next seven years, in which 175 GW of renewable energy would be produced and rivers and cities cleaned.

Climate justice Explaining the concept of climate justice, Mr. Swarup said: “It is a question of equity. When you talk about emissions, then you need to talk about per capita emissions. India’s per capita emission is still 1.7 and America’s is 16 or 17.”

“Historic responsibility of climate change has to be understood. It is very clear which are the countries that are responsible for the state that we are in today,” Mr. Swarup said, adding that the Indian position was not new or different from that of other developing countries.

In fact, what Mr. Swarup has articulated is only the reiteration of a long-held official stand of the Indian government. Most recently, during a meeting of 13 Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDCs) in New Delhi, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar had asserted that demanding climate action from developing countries should not involve any blame game and all LMDCs unanimously demanded that developed nations ought to take the lead and provide climate finance to developing countries to enable them to make the necessary transition to a low-carbon economy.

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