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India set to stick to its stand at COP26: Polluters should pay

Among key issues at the summit will be climate fair share, climate ambition, climate finance, loss and damage leverage, and carbon markets.

Written by Esha Roy | New Delhi |
Updated: October 23, 2021 1:07:01 pm
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the UN climate summit in Glasgow. (File)

India will finalise its stand on various issues related to the COP26 conference taking place in Glasgow next month, at the next Cabinet meeting on October 27, it is learnt.

India’s main contention at the summit will continue to revolve around the transfer of technology and climate finance from developed to developing country, according to sources in the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.

Among key issues at the summit will be climate fair share, climate ambition, climate finance, loss and damage leverage, and carbon markets.

According to officials of the ministry, India’s stand on loss and damage due to climate change will be that developed countries have a bigger contribution in environmental damage and resultant calamities that have taken place in developing countries, in particular the island-nations.

“There is no denying rise in temperature, that there has been an increase in extreme weather events, and that developing countries are feeling its impact the most,” a senior Environment Ministry official said. “We believe in the polluters-pay principle, and that will be our stand at COP26 – that developed countries, which have historically contributed to most emissions that have led to the temperature rise and climate change, take the responsibility of assisting developing nations financially by putting a compensation mechanism in place.”

The official said India will seek a commitment for more than $100 billion annual climate finance commitment from developed nations.

“If the developed countries put pressure on developing countries to increase NDC [Nationally Determined Contributions] ambition or meet Net Zero targets, first they have to show us the targets that they have already achieved. Second, they will have to disburse the $100-billion annual commitment they had made to developing countries, which has not been paid,” the official said. Developing nations are already doing what “they can do to achieve climate goals without climate finance. If developed countries expect more, they will have to provide the funds for it,” the official said.

The 15-member Indian delegation will consist of an inter-ministerial team with officials from New and Renewable Energy, Power, Earth Sciences, Agriculture and Finance ministries.

The team will be led by chief negotiator and Additional Secretary (climate change), in the Environment Ministry Richa Sharma. Environment ministers Bhupender Yadav and Ashwini Choubey and Secretary R P Gupta will also attend the summit.

Explained: The wide emission gap

India’s annual per capita carbon emission is 1.96 tonnes per person, against China’s 8.4 tonnes per person. Other big emitters include the US (18.6 tonnes per person) and the European Union (7.16 tonnes per person). The world
average is 6.64 tonnes per person.

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