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Environment

COP27: India Insists on New Global Climate Finance Target by 2024

Developing countries, including India, are pushing rich countries to agree to a new global climate finance target.

New Delhi: At the ongoing UN climate summit, India has asserted that developing countries require a “substantive enhancement” in climate finance from rich countries by 2024 as the previously-set goal of $100 billion per year by 2020 was minuscule given the scale of their needs, official said on Thursday.

At COP15 in Copenhagen in 2009, developed countries had committed to jointly mobilise $100 billion per year by 2020 to help developing countries tackle the effects of climate change. Rich countries, however, have repeatedly failed in delivering this finance.

Developing countries, including India, are pushing rich countries to agree to a new global climate finance target – also known as the new collective quantified goal on climate finance (NCQG) – which they say should be in trillions as the costs of addressing and adapting to climate change have grown.

Rich countries say the issues of numbers are political and should be under political discussions and not part of technical discussions.

At a high-level ministerial dialogue on NCQG at COP27 on Wednesday, India, on behalf of like-minded developing countries, highlighted that climate actions to meet the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) targets require financial, technological, and capacity-building support from developed countries, people aware of the developments said.

Citing the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), India said rich countries are the major contributors to the carbon stock in the atmosphere, clearly underlying the importance of the core principles of the UNFCCC and its Paris Agreement – equity and Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC).

CBDR-RC acknowledges the different capabilities and differing responsibilities of individual countries in addressing climate change.

“As such, the provisions and principles of the convention and its Paris Agreement should guide the discussions and outcomes of the NCQG to ensure an equitable result that enables climate action in developing countries,” it said.

“The ambitious goal set down by the developing countries requires substantive enhancement in climate finance from the floor of $100 billion per year. The mobilisation of the resources needs to be led by the developed countries and should be long-term, concessional, and climate-specific with equitable allocation between adaptation and mitigation projects,” India said.

“The commitment of $100 billion made in 2009 by developed countries was not only minuscule given the scale of needs, but has also not been achieved yet,” it said.

According to data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an intergovernmental body consisting of wealthy nations, developed countries mobilised $52.5 billion in 2013.

After dropping to $44.6 billion in 2015, the finance flow has steadily increased.

In 2020, the developed countries raised $83.3 billion, a jump from $80.4 billion in 2019, according to a fact sheet published by the Centre for Science and Environment.

The Standing Committee on Finance has estimated that resources in the range of $6 trillion to $11 trillion are required till 2030 to meet the targets set by developing countries in their NDCs and other communications, including the Needs Determination Reports.

NDCs are national plans to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“Clearly, the need for climate finance is immense even when estimates have not completely captured the identified needs, especially that for adaptation,” India said.

According to sources, preliminary discussions on NCQG began on a contentious note. The developed and developing countries have locked horns on finance and who should pay for mitigation and adaptation.

At this year’s conference, being held in the Egyptian seaside resort of Sharm el-Sheikh from November 6 to 18, developed countries are expected to push developing nations to further intensify their climate plans.

On the other hand, developing countries would seek commitment from rich countries to provide finance and technology needed to address climate change and resulting disasters.

India highlighted that access to finance at the market rate for climate action will lead to considerable stress on the finances of developing countries.

“Going ahead, if ambitious climate targets have to be achieved, these need to be backed by intentions reflected by ambitious, appropriate, and reasonable access to financial resources by developing countries.

“The NCQG needs to deliver on each of these grounds and thereby, enable effective action by developing countries,” it said.

India stressed that it is imperative that technical expert dialogues concentrate on the quantum and quality of resource mobilisation.

“While the private sector may play a complementary role, the commitment is on the developed countries to lead in mobilisation from various sources. The extent of public resources that the developed countries bring in will play a critical role in determining the climate flows. So, it is discouraging to see the focus on private finance alone,” it said.

India said while the previous technical expert dialogues on the NCQG under the Ad Hoc Work Programme have presented an opportunity for the exchange of ideas, a more structured and targeted approach needs to be adopted to enable the successful fulfilment of the mandate ahead of 2024.

It said discussions within the technical expert dialogues in 2023 should focus mainly on the quantum, recognising the urgency of such discussions for developing countries.

India said a discussion on quality and other elements such as access and transparency is incredibly important. A structure must be put in place moving forward to ensure decisions on all these elements can be taken by 2024.

Coming into COP27, Union environment minister Bhupender Yadav had told the media that India expects action from rich countries in terms of climate finance, technology transfer and strengthening the capacity of the poor and developing countries to combat climate change.

India also seeks clarity on the definition of climate finance — the absence of which allows developed countries to greenwash their finances and pass off loans as climate-related aid.

PTI