Outcome of climate talks in Poland positive: India

Outcome of climate talks in Poland positive: India

COP24 President Michal Kurtyka reacts during a final session of the COP24 U.N. Climate Change Conference 2018 in Katowice, Poland, December 15, 2018. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

India climate negotiators on Sunday returned partially satisfied from the UN Climate Conference at Katowice in Poland with one of their two major demands being fulfilled in the outcome document finalised by the diplomats of nearly 200 countries.

The Katowice Climate Package - a set of guidelines designed to operationalise the climate change regime contained in the 2015 Paris Agreement - was adopted on Saturday after climate negotiators worked extra time to deliver a document acceptable to all.

Among other things, the Katowice package includes guidelines that will set out how countries will provide information about their Nationally Determined Contributions that describe their domestic climate actions.

India was in favour of a transparent reporting mechanism that would allow individual nations to decide how they would report their climate action.

This, Indian negotiators argued at the pre-summit meetings in the run up to the 24th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 24), should continue till the time rich nations invest in poor countries to create adequate reporting infrastructure required for adopting a universal reporting standard.

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The outcome document provided “flexibilities for developing countries,” the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change says in a statement.

“India considers the outcome of COP 24 a positive one which addresses concerns of all parties and sets us on the path towards successful implementation of the Paris Agreement,” it adds.

The outcome on the other key demand on finance, however, was not so good. There was no word on how the industrialised world would fulfill their existing commitments to create a global corpus by contributing up to $ 100 billion annually.

But the Katowice package carried guidelines on the process for establishing new targets on finance from 2025 onward to follow-on from the current target of mobilising $ 100 billion per year from 2020 to support developing countries.

“The guidelines recognises the need for climate finance to be new and additional and climate specific,” says the ministry statement. “Finance is a sticking point in terms of money and reporting,” admits an Indian negotiator.

Climate scientists felt the UN summit failed to align the climate change threats with the outcome document.

“The summit missed the necessity of making clear that global emissions from fossil fuels must be cut by half by 2030 to stay in line with the IPCC 1.5 degrees Celsius report. This is a real concern. We continue to follow a path that will take us to a very dangerous 3-4 degrees warmer world within this century,” said Johan Rockström, Director Designate at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

“The way the world is going, it is unlikely that we could meet even the 2 degrees Celsius target (as the guardrail against dangerous consequences of climate change). We may end up at 2 plus. But if enough action is taken, we can pull back as all is not lost yet,” said the Indian official.