Says his speech has set the ground rules for Indian negotiators to work towards an ambitious and equitable deal
Paris/New Delhi, December 1, 2015: In a major shift in the negotiating position of India on climate change, prime minister Narendra Modi, for the first time, articulated the principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) in terms of carbon space in his speech at the Paris climate conference.
A climate deal based on equity has been a long-standing demand of India, and Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has consistently supported and advocated this demand. Welcoming the PM’s statement, CSE director general Sunita Narain said: “PM Modi’s demand for a fair share of carbon space for developing countries has suggested the way to operationalise equity.”
The fifth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has clearly put out a number on the amount of carbon dioxide the world can emit to maintain the safety threshold of a temperature increase of less than 2 degrees since the pre-industrial era. This carbon space of 1,000-1,400 billion tonnes, which can be emitted from now until 2100, is fast disappearing.
Speaking from Paris, CSE deputy director general Chandra Bhushan said: “Consider, for instance, the UNFCCC’s synthesis report on the aggregate effect of the intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs). By 2030, if countries do not increase their ambition to reduce emissions, 60-75 per cent of the carbon budget will be exhausted. Developed countries would appropriate a significant amount of this budget.”
CSE’s analysis shows that in 2030, the Human Development Index (HDI) of South Asia and most African countries will be less than 0.65. These countries will need carbon budget post-2030 to meet their basic development needs like food, shelter, infrastructure and energy. Allocation of a fair share of carbon budget, therefore, is essential for the future growth of developing countries, says CSE.
According to Bhushan, by focusing on the principles of the 1992 climate convention as the basis for the Paris climate agreement, with particular emphasis on the role of developed countries in addressing climate change, the Indian prime minister has opposed rewriting of the convention which, of late, has been the agenda of developed countries, particularly the United States.
PM Modi has also urged developed countries to recognise the challenges faced by developing countries in dealing with the impacts of climate change and asked them to support developing countries by meeting their financial commitment of 100 billion dollars per year 2020 onwards.
“Mr Modi’s speech has set the tone for the two weeks of negotiations at Paris. It has provided the ground rules for the Indian negotiators to work towards operationalising equity and accomplish an ambitious deal at Paris,” said Bhushan.
“CSE wants a stable and effective deal and hopes that the provision of fair allocation of carbon space finds clear articulation in the Paris agreement. Our hope is that the Indian negotiators will work with other developing countries to achieve this,” added Narain.
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