India’s perspective on climate change negotiations
Climate Change Negotiations: India’s submissions to the UNFCCC, is a compilation of the country’s contribution to and perspectives on international climate change negotiations by its Ministry of Environment and Forests. The report discusses equity in mitigation and adaptation, technology transfer and sustainable forests management.
Publisher: Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, August 2009
Climate change discourse covers a wide range of issues that include building international cooperation for actions on mitigation, adaptation, technology transfer and funding to address climate change. In the course of these negotiations, India has made important contributions, particularly expressing the concerns of developing countries in face of climate change.
This report contains twelve papers submitted by India to UNFCC, on diverse strands of climate change negotiations during 2008 and 2009. Each subject begins with a narrative statement followed by a text suggested for inclusion in the negotiating text.
Equitable sharing of the global atmospheric resource
India stresses on the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities" of Bali Action Plan and maintains that developed nations must take 40% emission cuts by 2020 from the 1990 baseline, with further reductions through policies and measures that promote sustainable lifestyles. The report states that development and poverty eradication are the first and overriding priorities of developing countries; however, it promises to keep its per capita emission lower than the average per capita emission of developed nations.
Differentiating between mitigation measures required by developing and developed nations, the report states that "nationally appropriate mitigation actions" of developing nations must be "supported and enabled by technology, financing and capacity building" by developed nations.
Mitigation through forests
India proposes provision of positive incentives for reduced deforestation, sustainable forest management and afforestation and reforestation as critical measures of climate change mitigation. Since major benefits of these activities lies in global climate protection, and the host country incurs direct and indirect costs for maintaining the forest cover, substantial part of these costs must be met by global arrangements.
Sustainable forests management requires direct costs on forest protection, monitoring, and enforcement, and indirect costs in keeping the natural resources from its best alternative economic use. Therefore, the host nation must be compensated for the global damage it avoids by maintaining a stock of forest carbon. Positive incentives may include trade benefits and increased financial flows.
Financing action on adaptation
Adaptation to climate change is as imperative as mitigation. India calls for enhanced access to funding, technology transfer and capacity building for adaptation. UNFCCC has estimated the need to invest additional US$ 200-210 billion by 2030 for emission cuts, and additional 60-182 billion US$ for adaptation. India argues that this amount should be new funding, not a part of already existing aid.
Institutional arrangements must be made for achieving adaptation actions which includes, enabling and capacity building activities, rehabilitation and compensation for loss and damage, resilience building projects; adaptation technologies; insurance; and mainstreaming adaptation in the national developmental programmes.
Financial mechanism, established under the Convention, shall have separate specialized windows for funding projects, programs and actions aimed at mitigation, adaptation and technology transfer. India also proposes that the funding provided should be demand driven and must enable direct access of funds to beneficiaries.
Technology transfer mechanism
Barriers to knowledge sharing, trade and technology transfer may hinder mitigation and adaptation. Therefore, there is an urgent need for to achieve accessibility, affordability, appropriateness and adaptability of technologies required by developing countries. Assistance must be provided towards the costs of development and use of such a technology.
India suggests a Multilateral Climate Technology Fund (MCTF) to provide for technology-related financial requirements as determined by an Executive Body.
A Technology Action Plan should accelerate research and invention through scientific and technical cooperation at various levels, including that of scientists and institutions. Institutional mechanisms must be in place to identify needs, and create an international cooperation system to facilitate lowest cost options, and to adapt them to local conditions.