India wants funding, tech in Paris text

As talks on the text of the Paris agreement began on Tuesday, Indian negotiators said they were introducing provisions in it for a technology and financial mechanism that will make it possible to raise low-cost capital and widely deploy renewable technologies.

On Tuesday, the focus was on making technological collaboration written into the Paris deal, Ajay Mathur, Director-General, Bureau of Energy Efficiency, told the media.

The agreement to be reached in Paris would be in the form of a framework that gives recognition to the voluntary pledges made by countries (described as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions). It has to contain provisions on finance and technology, which are central to goals to reduce carbon emissions for developing countries as they grow. The quantum of reductions that countries make and the time frames would be part of allied instruments of the framework.

Currently, investors in renewables have to borrow capital at high rates of interest, and this would not enable a quick scale up or reduction in the real cost of power, Mr. Mathur said. Moreover, inducting solar of the order of 100 gigawatts by 2022 would require the creation of balancing technologies to handle the transition and fluctuations. These concerns make it imperative for the Paris agreement to incorporate suitable provisions, Mr. Mathur said.

In the government's view, not enough attention is being paid to India's proposed scaling up of generation from renewable sources a staggering seven times, while it was receiving criticism for stating that it would continue to use coal, which represents 160 GW today. Coal is expected to double in capacity. By 2030, India plans to have solar and wind generation touching 200 GW.

What is not realised is that even in 2030, the per capita use of coal in the United States would be an estimated 4 tonnes, as against 1 tonne for India, Mr. Mathur said.

Pursuing the question of responsibility for historical emissions, India has said it favours the stocktaking of carbon on a global scale. As countries cut the greenhouse gases over the years, and a review is done every five or 10 years, nations would get more ambitious with future targets. Even with all voluntary actions, the rise in temperature over the pre-industrial era would be not be able to meet the targeted 2 degrees C.

Asked about the Indian position on taxing carbon to reflect its true price, as several speakers including French President Francois Hollande suggested on Monday, Mr. Mathur said India was already levying Rs.200 a tonne on coal, and price of transport fuels was high to consumers due to taxation.

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Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 4:47:10 PM |

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