The United Nations climate summit in Lima starting on December 1, is the last before the Paris meeting in 2015, and while there is the usual scepticism, countries have to indicate their national contributions and also discuss the draft negotiating text for next year.
Union Minister of State for Environment Prakash Javadekar has been reiterating India’s stand at international fora and his emphasis is on Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR) and operationalising the Green Climate Fund (GCF) which has been injected with $9.7 billion for four years recently. Developed countries agreed to mobilise $100 billion per year till 2020, and the crisis of funding and technology transfer continues to plague the negotiations.
At Paris, countries have to agree on a deal with new goals which will take the world post 2020. The Lima meeting, coming soon after the climate deal between the U.S. and China, seeks to set the tone for the “Paris Protocol” and countries will be wrangling over their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC), which they have to finalise by March 2015. The synthesis report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has made it clear that adaptation alone will not prevent the world from hurtling into a climate calamity. Countries have to focus on mitigation and their national emission cuts should reflect this aspect.
While the U.S.-China deal is low on ambition, there is nothing preventing India from taking on ambitious cuts and opting for a low carbon path. The key issues at Lima will centre around emission cuts, finance and according to activist groups, this will include finance for forests, land use and near-term mitigation potential.
Indian experts have been saying that India should set the ground for tighter emissions cuts and ambitious national action plans and there is no need to be bound by the U.S.-China deal. The UNFCCC has underscored the need to act urgently and says that while there has been some success in climate change mitigation, global emissions of greenhouse gases continue to rise.
So that the world has a chance to stay below an agreed maximum 2°C rise, beyond which even more serious climate change impacts will occur, governments agreed at the Doha talks to speedily work toward a universal climate change agreement by 2015 covering all countries. They also agreed to find ways to scale up efforts before 2020 beyond the existing pledges to curb emissions.