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Paris Poker: India Demands Clear Roadmap On Climate Finance

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Vishwa Mohan, The Times of India

In a clear indication of what India would pitch for having an effective and equitable climate deal in Paris in December, New Delhi has once again asked the rich nations to come out with a clear financial roadmap having new “predictable” and “additional” resource flow to meet requirements of finance of developing countries for supporting their climate actions.

Referring to French President Francois Hollande’s recent statement that unless the developed world commits more finance and technological support, Paris can be a failure, India’s environment minister Prakash Javadekar said, “I think, with this warning, coming from the French President, who is the host (of the Paris climate summit – the COP21), the developed world will come out with more reasonable proposals”.

Javadekar, during an interaction with netizens through the government MyGov web platform on Monday evening, also in this context recalled what the country’s finance minister Arun Jaitley had recently said on ‘climate finance’ while emphasizing India’s clear stand over this critical issue which, the experts believe, would be the key to success of the Paris summit.

In his intervention in the plenary session of the International Monetary and Finance Committee (IMFC) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) early this month, Jaitley had stressed that the commitment made by the developed countries with regard to climate finance should be fulfilled.

“Provision of such finance by the developed countries should be new and additional without diverting the existing resource flow under overseas development assistance (ODA)”, said the finance minister and pointed out that the resource flow under ODA should not be counted against climate change finance and any form of double counting under both climate finance and ODA should be avoided.

“There is need for genuinely new and additional resource flow to meet climate finance requirements”, Jaitley had said while making his intervention in Lima.

The issue of climate finance has, of late, become a major sticking point between rich and developing countries during negotiations. Rich nations are expected to contribute to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) – a multilateral fund to help countries fight climate change – which is a financial arm of the UNFCCC. There is a goal to mobilize $100 billion a year from both public and private sources to the fund beyond 2020. But, there is no clear road map to mobilize $100 billion a year from 2020.

Developing countries, including India, want all rich nations must contribute to the GCF and the money should be made available to all developing countries under a global climate deal. They also want the rich nations to keep loans and existing overseas development assistance out of the climate finance.

Though this demand is not new as India has consistently been raising the issue of climate finance, the reiteration definitely shows the kind of importance New Delhi attaches to this issue.

Even during the last round of negotiation in Bonn that concluded on October 23, India and other developing countries had fought their ways to get the specific points on climate finance and technology transfer inserted in the revised and expanded draft text of the climate agreement as one of the options. This issue will now be open for negotiation as part of the draft text in Paris summit.

In the backdrop of the concerns expressed by India and other developing countries, including China, at different platforms, Javadekar on Monday sought to remind the rich nations that the developed world had pledged $100 billion (Green Climate Fund), but that has not materialized.

“Now the developed world is presenting that they have mobilized $62 billion. But, Arun Jaitley was forthright in Lima by telling them that this was double accounting and this was not acceptable. So we want additional, new predictable finance, which will be scaled up. I told the world that $100 billion is not the cost of climate action. The cost of climate action is trillions of dollars per annum”, said Javadekar.

Many experts and think-tanks echoed India’s point of views. The Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) believed that the developed countries do not want a clear financial roadmap of how this will be achieved and are hoping to deal with it outside the Paris agreement. It also raised the issue of unsustainable lifestyle of people in rich countries that occupy lot of carbon space due to excessive energy consumption.

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