Environment Ministers from across the globe will strive this week to transform a draft that has conflicting proposals into a concrete climate pact to cap greenhouse gas emissions amid India’s assertion that it is going for the high-stakes talks with positivity.
The 48-page draft, that still contains all the unresolved options on the key issues at stake, will form the basis on which ministers from across the globe, including Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, will try to formulate a binding deal.
As the 12-day climate talks enter its final week with the ministerial talks starting tomorrow, negotiators appeared confident that some kind of deal will be reached before the next weekend and they will be able to avert a repeat of the 2009 Copenhagen summit — that failed miserably.
Analysts said any deal emerging from Paris is likely to fall short of what is needed to cap global warming at 2.0 degrees Celsius or below.
Javadekar, who will arrive in Paris for the crucial phase of talks tomorrow, said, “India is going more pro-actively, with more positivity and instead of opposing which was earlier position of India, we are now proposing. Like India initiated the Solar Alliance. India became partner of Mission Innovation. We will be proposing many new things. They are on cards.”
“India is looking positively to the final outcome from Paris and India will be flexible and show the world that though India is not part of the problem, still is facilitator for the solution,” Javadekar said.
He said the need of the hour is that the developed world “must walk the talk, must come out with more ambitious numbers for their pre-2020 commitment” and come out with a separate subhead to their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), as today’s INDCs of developed world subsumes their pre-2020 targets.
Asked about India being vilified for blocking progress at the talks, Javadekar told an Indian TV channel, “Let me tell you, many people describe India as the 3rd largest emitter. It is sequentially wrong and it is content wise also wrong. I have rephrased it, sequentially we are four but we are small emitters.”
Talking about the current emission status, Javadekar said, “China (is at) 29 per cent, US is second with 16 per cent, Europe third with 10 per cent and India at fourth with 5 per cent emission. First three put together 56 per cent and we are five per cent. We are one-tenth of the first three,” he said.
Javadekar said people are saying that India is using coal and it will use more coal but its coal consumption is less than half of the US in absolute terms even today and the US is using gas which is also fossil fuel.
“Our non-fossil fuel is 40 per cent target, theirs is only 30 per cent target,” he pointed out.
“Though India is not a part of the problem, it wants to be a part of solution because we are suffering, in fact if there is Chennai, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, droughts and floods, it means there is a climate change impact also. But there is a dichotomy. If you go with the case of Chennai for loss and damage, the developed world says, it is not a conclusive case of climate change,” he said.
Asked about what kind of deal India would be satisfied with, Javadekar said, “I will be happy if the deal is another convention wit with CBDR, equity and all other principles intact. Simultaneously, making progress that every country contributes as per their restricted capacities, they report it and implement it.”
On western media projecting India as blocking the accord, he said, “Western media, unfortunately, is not free media like in India and I am proud of the Indian media.”
On Friday, US special envoy for climate change Todd Stern said India and the US are working in a “constructive way” for a climate deal that is comfortable to both.
“India and US have a very strong history of working collaboratively. That is going on right now,” Stern said.
Stern said he had four to five meetings with Indian counterparts in the last one week and both nations are working “quite intensively in a business and constructive way”.
His statement came in the backdrop of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s remark ahead of the talks that India will be a “challenge”.
Developing countries need money and technology to make the switch to clean energy sources like solar and wind power. They are also asking for money to adapt to climate change.
The developed countries are willing to help but reluctant to make firm commitments as negotiators from over 190 nations look to negotiate a post-2020 deal to curb emissions and limit global temperature rise.
The 12-day conference, for the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations is aiming to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C over pre-industrial temperatures.