Environment

India proposes extended deadline for commitments at climate summit

The Kyoto Protocol was an agreement in 1997 that allowed industries in developing countries to gain carbon credits by investing in emission-reduction technologies.

The Kyoto Protocol was an agreement in 1997 that allowed industries in developing countries to gain carbon credits by investing in emission-reduction technologies.   | Photo Credit: AP

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‘Developed countries have not met Kyoto Protocol targets’ , Prakash Javadekar tells UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

India on Tuesday proposed that developed countries make good commitments on providing finance to developing countries by 2023, instead of 2020.

“It is time for reflection and assessment as we near the end of the pre-2020 period. Has the developed world delivered on its promises? Unfortunately, annexed [developed] countries have not met their Kyoto Protocol targets... I propose that we have three more years to fulfill the pre-2020 commitments till the global stock take takes places for bridging emission gaps,” Union Environment Minister, Prakash Javadekar said in Madrid, Spain, on Tuesday. He was stating India’s position at the 25th Session of the Conference of Parties under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP25), currently under way.

Developed countries were to have given a trillion dollars, but barely 2% of it had materialised, he claimed. “The world that benefited from carbon emissions that made them developed, must repay,” he said.

According to Mr. Javadekar, India is on its way to achieving voluntary targets it has set for itself to curb emissions. It has reduced emissions intensity of GDP by 21% and is “on track” to achieve the goal of 35% emissions reduction as promised in Paris, he said.

Among India’s key demands is that the UN COP agree on a framework whereby carbon credits accumulated as part of provisions of the Kyoto Protocol be carried over after 2020, and that the loss and damage suffered by developing countries — including India — due to the vagaries of climate change be made good by Western developed countries by finance.

The Kyoto Protocol was an agreement in 1997 that allowed industries in developing countries to gain carbon credits by investing in emission-reduction technologies. These credits could be traded in specialised markets in Western exchanges. India has accumulated millions of such credits but their value has crashed. Several countries who had committed to the Kyoto Protocol had opted out and there were controversies about whether the credits truly reflected emission reductions.

Paris Agreement

The 2015 Paris Agreement commits countries to strive to keep emissions to prevent a greater than a degree rise by the end of this century from present levels. This would require countries to commit to new targets by 2020, take stock and announce to the world their progress every five years. Developed countries have proposed new targets but India, Brazil, China, who have accumulated credits, are insistent that credits accumulated be honoured.

Before 2020, countries had committed to a “rulebook”, that would specify how the Paris Agreement would be implemented. Much of it had been finalised in Katowice, Poland, in 2018. The COP underway in Madrid is expected to tie-up all loose ends this year. The conference is scheduled to conclude on Dec 13.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 2:04:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/india-proposes-extended-deadline-for-commitments-at-climate-summit/article30271586.ece

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