India to press for equity at Paris summit

India to press for equity at Paris summit

India to press for equity at Paris summit

With the national carbon emission reduction commitment firmly on-course, India wants to bring “equity” at the core of the Paris climate change summit document to provide the necessary carbon space for India to grow.

“The Indian growth story will remain at the heart of the negotiations. We want a lot more manufacturing, skilled people and more connected people,” said a member of India’s negotiation team, less than a month before the final round of negotiations starts in Paris.

Before the 2009 Copenhagen summit, the central government committed in the Parliament to cut down India’s emission intensity by 20-25 per cent by 2020.

“As of 2010, we reduced our carbon intensity by 12 per cent from 2005. The third NATCOM (National Communication to the UN) and first Biennial Update Report are under preparation. We are on-course on our commitment,” said another negotiator.

While the concept of common, but differentiated responsibility is always highlighted in the UN climate document because of the historical responsibilities of rich nations, the concept of equity was never articulated in great detail, said an official.

In simple terms, this means every nation must get a share of the total global carbon space available for its own economic growth.

“It is due to the emission by developed countries such as the USA that the world has reached this state where it has to restrict emissions and global warming. They (US and EU) emitted in the past. We will emit in the present and future,” said Sunita Narain, director general of the Centre for Science and Environment, Delhi.

The carbon space share estimate shows USA alone has already consumed 29 per cent space, whereas other rich nations have taken up 45 per cent space. China’s share is 10 per cent and India has taken just three per cent space.

Recently, the UNFCCC released a report analysing the climate action plans for 119 countries that account for almost 86 per cent of current emission, which clearly shows   that voluntary emission reduction plans will not contain temperature rise below 2 degrees as recommended by the Intergovernmental panel on climate change. There is a 25 per cent ambition gap until 2030.

Capital flow

India would use the Paris negotiations to secure favourable capital flow conditions for setting up new renewable energy projects in solar and wind sector as the government plans to increase the share of solar and wind energy up to 18 and 10 per cent respectively in the total energy mix by 2030.

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