India’s point was articulated by environment minister Bhupender Yadav at G20 countries’ joint environment and climate change ministers’ meeting at Bali, Indonesia. India will assume the Presidency of the G20 from December 1. The country will host the G20 Summit in 2023.
Yadav’s remarks on “primary responsibility” clearly pointed out how cumulative emission of rich nations such as the US and European countries led to climate change and therefore these historical polluters must come forward to decarbonise their economies much faster than that of the developing countries, and spare some carbon space for economic development in global south.
“Globally, in order to effectively combat climate change, we must, first, recognise that development and environment conservation need to be aligned, rather than treated exclusive to each other. Secondly, we must decouple economic growth from GHG, while considering national circumstances and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR-RC),” said Yadav in his opening remarks at the meet.
He also reminded rich nations of their obligation towards the developing countries in terms of providing climate finance, and said, “There is an urgent need to mobilise resources to stimulate the economy in a manner that makes it more resilient and sustainable. But the current pace and scale of climate finance from developed countries is not matching the global aspiration to combat climate change.”
Noting that the “promise of climate finance remains a mirage”, Yadav said, “An added problem is the clubbing of development finance with climate finance. In 2019, 70% of public climate finance was given out as loans instead of grants. In 2019/20, only 6% of climate finance was in grants. This is pushing developing countries into more debt.”
He also flagged how developing countries face an estimated gap of USD 1 trillion in COVID-19 spending.
Yadav put across these points even during his closing remarks and flagged how it’s important to keep “equity and principles of CBDR-RC” at the core while looking for solutions to fight the challenges of climate change. He underlined that the one-size-fits-all approach would create more problems than solutions.
“India believes that environmental sustainability can only be achieved through climate justice and equity in resource usage, technology, financing and low-carbon development timelines.
Anything less is unacceptable,” said the minister.
India through its updated NDCs promised that the country would achieve about 50% cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030, claiming that the updates are aimed at keeping India on track of its long term goal of carbon neutrality by 2070. India also committed to reduce its emissions intensity (emission per unit of GDP) by 45% by 2030 from 2005 level.
“India’s enhanced NDCs to the Paris Agreement include LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment) in their ambition to propagate healthy and sustainable lifestyles based on traditions and the
values of conservation, moderation and climate justice, and to protect the poor and the vulnerable from the adverse impacts of climate change,” said Yadav.
He said, “While India has not been a traditional contributor to global emissions, we are showing the intent in our actions to be a problem solver. India has made remarkable progress in recent years in electrifying all households and rapidly increasing access to clean cooking energy. It is also one of the world’s largest markets for the deployment of renewable energy.”