India to stress ‘climate justice’ at COP 26 global summit: Environment Minister

World acknowledges India’s electric vehicle policy, commitment to increase forest cover, national hydrogen policy, says Bhupender Yadav

Updated - October 29, 2021 09:33 am IST

Published - October 28, 2021 09:54 pm IST - New Delhi

Activists symbolically set George Square on fire with an art installation of faux flames and smoke ahead of the U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP26), in Glasgow on October 28, 2021.

Activists symbolically set George Square on fire with an art installation of faux flames and smoke ahead of the U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP26), in Glasgow on October 28, 2021.

India will emphasise climate justice and exhort developed countries to transfer the finance and technology necessary to deal with the fallout of global warming, Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav told The Hindu on the eve of his departure to Glasgow to participate in the 26th edition of the United Nations Conference of Parties (COP).

At least 195 countries are expected to participate in the meeting in Glasgow that is expected to take place from November 1-12. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be participating in a World Leaders Summit to be held next week as part of the COP.

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“In the forthcoming COP, the assistance that developing countries such as India need for mitigating carbon emissions, adapting to a warming world, and insisting on a firm, transparent framework that lays out how this can be met, will be the points of discussion,” Mr. Yadav said in an interview on Thursday.

Mr. Yadav said the world had publicly acknowledged India’s commitment to install 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030 as “ambitious”. There was also similar acknowledgement of India’s electric vehicle policy, its commitment to increase forest cover as well as the national hydrogen policy, he said. These steps by India, which were in line with achieving the target of the 2015 Paris Agreement, would be raised at the conference, the Minister added.

The 26th COP is expected to be fractious with many developed countries, led by the United States, to push for a deadline by which all countries agree to cease net carbon dioxide emissions. India is among the major emitters, the third largest in the world, to not have indicated any deadline or even a tentative pathway towards such a “net zero”' goal. China and the United States, the other two major polluters have indicated 2060 and 2050 as potential deadlines for capping their net emissions.

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India has on several fora resisted being forced to commit to such a deadline on the grounds that it violates agreed-upon principles of climate justice that require countries to have “differential responsibilities” to addressing the climate crisis. Reiterating this, Mr. Yadav, however, told The Hindu in response to a query that “all options were open”.

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In the run-up to the COP, India has had several bilateral meetings including with top officials in the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union.


Following a meeting with the U.K.’s Foreign Minister Elizabeth Truss, Mr. Yadav said last Thursday that the upcoming COP should be “...the COP of action and implementation”. He added that the “huge expectations” in COP 26 include arriving at a consensus on unresolved issues of the Paris Agreement Rule Book, long-term climate finance, and market-based mechanisms. COP26 should also be initiating the process of setting the long-term climate finance for the post-2025 period.

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