India demands $1 trillion as ‘climate finance’

India’s NDCs are subject to the availability of this amount in climate finance, says key negotiator

November 11, 2021 06:43 pm | Updated November 12, 2021 06:16 am IST - NEW DELHI:

Delegates attend the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain, November 11, 2021.

Delegates attend the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain, November 11, 2021.

India has demanded a trillion dollars over the next decade from developed countries to adapt to, and mitigate, the challenges arising from global warming, and has kept this as a condition for delivering on climate commitments made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a senior official who is part of ongoing climate agreement negotiations in Glasgow told The Hindu .

India’s five-fold plan, as Mr. Modi spelt out on November 2, is as follows — India’s non-fossil energy capacity would reach 500 GW by 2030; it will meet 50% of its electricity requirements with renewable energy by 2030; reducing its total projected carbon emissions by a billion tonnes by 2030; it will reduce the carbon intensity of its economy to less than 45% and achieve net zero by 2070.

Net zero is when a country’s carbon emissions are offset by taking out equivalent carbon from the atmosphere, so that emissions in balance are zero. However, achieving net zero by a specific date means specifying a year, also called a peaking year, following which emissions will begin to fall.

 

“Our NDCs (Nationally Determined Contribution) are conditional, that is, subjected to the availability of this amount [$1 trillion] in climate finance. NDCs can be submitted with conditions. The decision on when to submit revised NDCs has not yet been taken,” Rameshwar Prasad Gupta, Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change, told The Hindu . He is among India’s key negotiators and currently present at the ongoing talks in Glasgow.

Nationally Determined Contributions are voluntary targets that countries set for themselves, which describe the quantum and kind of emission cuts they will undertake over a fixed period to contribute to preventing runaway global warming.

India’s last NDC was submitted following the Paris Agreement of 2015. Before COP26 began on November 1, countries were expected to provide updated NDCs. India, however, did not furnish one.

He added that developing countries, as a group, had demanded $1 trillion annually. Mr. Gupta did not, however, clarify the members of this group, or if India had formally communicated these demands, or if they had emerged as part of the negotiations.

 

Delivering on climate finance is among the stickiest points of contention between developed and developing countries because developed countries, as a group, have failed to provide $100 billion annually by 2020, as promised from a decade ago.

With the conference scheduled to draw to an end on Friday, nearly 200 countries are yet to finalise a final text of an agreement.

As The Hindu reported on Wednesday, a draft consensus document of the agreement underlines that the promised climate finance by developed countries is “insufficient to respond to the worsening climate change impacts in developing countries” and urges these developed countries to “urgently scale up”.

“The funds necessary for adaptation must increase,” Bhupender Yadav, Environment Minister, had said on Wednesday, adding, “Our consistent stand has been that developing countries such as India need transparency in terms of what kind of market mechanism will be in place. This is necessary to ensure that developing and developed countries are on a level playing field.”

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