India’s goals at COP27 on climate finance

The 27th edition of the Conference of Parties (COP) to UNFCCC will begin Sunday. India will seek clarity on the definition of climate finance and encourage developed countries to provide the necessary technology and financial resources to address climate change its consequences.

Bhupender Yadav, Union Environment Minister, will lead the Indian delegation at the conference in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, from November 6 to 8.

Each year, 189 parties to the UNFCCC meet to discuss how to address climate change together.

Several heads of state are expected to attend the conference, including US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and more than 100 other heads of state. There is no information on whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the event.

The Union Environment Ministry, India, is looking forward to substantial progress in discussions related to climate finance and clarity in its definition.

To accurately assess the extent of finance flows for climate action, there is a need for more clarity regarding the definition of climate finance in developing countries, it said in a statement.

Developed countries can greenwash their finances and pass off loans as climate-related aid due to the absence of a definition.

The Indian government will seek clarification as to what constitutes climate finance, whether it be grants, loans, or subsidies, Yadav told reporters on Thursday.

In Copenhagen in 2009, developed countries committed to mobilizing USD 100 billion per year by 2020 to assist developing countries in combating climate change, but they have been unable to do so.

India and other developing countries will intensify pressure on rich nations to fulfil their commitments.

According to the UNFCCC’s Standing Committee on Finance, developed countries reported the total public financial support in October 2020 was USD 45.4 billion in 2017 and USD 51.8 billion in 2018.

Additionally, developing countries, including India, will push rich countries to agree to a new global climate finance target, also known as NCQG (new collective quantified goal on climate finance), which they believe should be in the trillions due to the increasing costs of addressing and adapting to climate change.

According to RR Rashmi, Distinguished Fellow at TERI and former UNFCCC climate negotiator, any consensus on a greater scale of financial mobilizations could be a welcome outcome of COP27.

Several years before the Paris Agreement was signed, the figure of USD 100 billion was agreed upon for developing countries. In light of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), the total cumulative financing requirements of the developing world are estimated to be USD 5.8-5.9 trillion by 2030,” Rashmi explained.

There is a long way to go before the goal of USD100 billion in climate finance per year by 2020 and every year after that through 2025 is met. Since there is a lack of shared understanding of climate finance, several estimates are available. Despite the need to reach the promised amount as soon as possible, there is a need to significantly increase the ambition to achieve an adequate flow of resources following the new quantified goal after 2024,” the environment ministry stated.

A focus must be placed on the quantity, quality, and scope of the resource flow in the ad hoc working group when discussing NCQG.

It is also essential to address issues relating to access and suggestions on how the financial mechanisms can be improved. Additionally, the ministry stated that an increase in transparency is necessary to ensure adequate oversight of the quantum and direction of flows.

In addition, developing and developing countries have expressed a desire for a new financing facility to deal with “losses and damage” resulting from climate change – such as relocating people who have been displaced by flooding.
As a result of this new fund, developed nations will be liable for massive damages caused by global warming.

“The existing financial mechanisms under the UNFCCC, such as the Global Environment Facility, Green Climate Fund, and Adaptation Fund, have not been able to mobilise or deliver funds for loss and damage caused by climate change,” according to the ministry.

There is a shortage of funding for these programs. Most money goes to mitigation (preventing and reducing emissions), and accessing it can be time-consuming and difficult.

In light of these circumstances, the G77 and China have proposed adopting an item on loss and damage finance on the agenda. “It is time to give this issue the prominence it deserves on the climate agenda,” the ministry said.

To achieve the goals under the Paris Agreement, all parties have agreed to establish a Global Goal on Adaptation to provide a system for tracking and assessing countries’ progress on adaptation actions and catalyzinges adaptation funding.

The Indian government has stated that there must be significant progress on actions, indicators, and metrics regarding the General Government Agreement.

The mitigation plan must be open, especially in the form of nature-based solutions, in the name of co-benefits. During COP26 in Glasgow, parties agreed to establish a Mitigation Work Program (MWP) to “urgently scale up mitigation ambition and implementation.”

In terms of mitigation, we mean avoiding and reducing emissions; in terms of ambition, we suggest setting higher targets; and in terms of implementation, we mean executing our plans.

The MWP has raised concerns that rich nations will pressure developing countries to revise their climate targets without increasing technology and financing availability.

India has stated that the Work Programme cannot change the Paris Agreement on Enhanced Ambition in Mitigation and Implementation.

The GST process and other mechanisms of the Paris Agreement, including the enhancement of NDCs and the submission of long-term low-emission development strategies, are sufficient. As part of the Mitigation Work Programme, best practices, new technologies, and new forms of collaboration for technology transfer and capacity building can be discussed fruitfully,” the ministry stated.

Rich countries intend to discuss Article 2.1(c) of the Paris Agreement, which requires all financial flows to be consistent with a “pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development,” meaning that funds must be associated with low-emission developments.

According to India, “achieving the USD 100 billion per year goal must come first, and developed countries must provide a roadmap for reaching it.”

Additionally, at the UN emphasis conference, India will again emphasize its invitation to all countries to participate in the LiFE movement, a pro-people and pro-planet initiative to shift the world from mindless and wasteful consumption towards conscious and deliberate use of natural resources.

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