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Ahead of COP26, Bhupender Yadav pushes for flexibility to countries in deciding timeframes for goals

India on Tuesday pushed for allowing both 5-year as well as 10-year frameworks for achieving the climate goals.

Written by Esha Roy | New Delhi |
Updated: September 8, 2021 7:38:15 am
Bhupender Yadav

At a ministerial meeting ahead of the COP26 summit to be held in Glasgow in November, Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav, on Tuesday spoke up in favour of rights of countries to set their own time frames for reaching climate targets, within the overarching “common time frame” for all countries to reach their goals.

The minister has spoken in favour of “flexibility” being allowed to countries, so that they can then take into consideration local circumstances in determining these time frames.

India on Tuesday pushed for allowing both 5-year as well as 10-year frameworks for achieving the climate goals.

Under the Paris Agreement, countries submitted climate pledges which all came into effect from 2020, but covered a variety of time periods – from five to fifteen years. The common timeframe negotiation, which took place in Madrid, was an attempt to make the timelines of these pledges more uniform, allowing a more aligned set of goals. The issue of common time frames was to be resolved during COP24, but attending countries could not reach any consensus.

“Made an intervention at one of the ministerial today in the run up to COP26 stating that it is necessary to ensure that the negotiations regarding the next step on Common Time Frames should be rooted in the mandates and principles of the UNFCC and its Paris Agreement. India, under PM Shri Narendra Modi ji, supports arrangements that can accommodate the circumstances of all parties and not embark on a one-size fits all approach,” said Yadav on Tuesday.

India’s position so far has been that countries, especially developing ones, need to be allowed the flexibility of setting their ambitions, keeping in mind the need of their emerging markets as well as infrastructure for their populations. India has also maintained that it is the responsibility of developed countries to transfer funds and technology to developing countries to reach these goals. India has also resisted raising ambition before the 2023 review of targets achieved takes place, maintaining that set goals be achieved first before raising ambition.

“Most of the developing countries including India submitted NDC (Nationally Determined Contributions) for the period of 2021-2030 with a 10-year timeframe. India’s NDC is rated ambitious and compatible with the Paris Agreement goals. India believes that there should be flexibility for countries to decide either 5-year or 10-year timeframe. The Paris Agreement provides a mechanism for countries to update their NDCs as per their national circumstances at any given period,” said Yadav at the meeting.

Yadav added that the issue of common timeframes is not a serious obstacle if the “principle of differentiation between developed and developing countries and the voluntary character of nationally determined nature of NDCs are adequately recognized’’.

“Let me also make it clear that CTFs for NDCs are essentially plural and do not equal one CTF. Thus, parties can have more than one common timeframe…The process of preparing, enhancing, and updating NDCs is not a simple task for any Party. For developing countries, in particular, there is also a clear linkage between the NDC process and the availability of adequate and predictable climate finance and access to technology development and transfer. India supports arrangements that can accommodate the circumstances of all Parties and not embark on a one-size fits all approach. Our proposal on this issue allows both 5-year and 10 years as the NDCs common timeframes,” Yadav has said, adding that a 5-year time frame is not necessarily more ambitious than a 10-year framework.

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