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India Rejects Draft Text For UN Climate Deal

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Times of India

NEW DELHI: India on Wednesday expressed disappointment over the first draft text of the Paris climate change agreement, which was presented to the governments two days ago, and said the country would oppose it during the next round of negotiations at Bonn. 

In his first reaction to the draft text that completely ignores the crucial issue of ‘equity’ and transparency of action, environment and climate change minister Prakash Javadekar said, “I would like to underline that the first draft text of the Paris agreement is quite disappointing. It does not inspire.” 

He told the TOI that he was “not at all happy” with the text and the Indian negotiators would certainly oppose it during the next round of negotiations in run-up to the Paris conference. 

The draft agreement is a concise basis for negotiations for the next session from October 19-23 in Bonn. Co-Chairs Ahmed Djoghlaf of Algeria and Daniel Reifsnyder of the US prepared the draft in response to a request from countries to have a better basis from which to negotiate. 

Without going into the details of the text and India’s specific objections, Javadekar said, “We should certainly have a different text for the Paris meet to become a success. Our negotiators will submit India’s suggestions. Other countries will also come out with their suggestions. 

“This is, after all, not a final text. I hope that there will be more moderated and justifiable text on table after Bonn and other pre-COP (conference of parties) negotiations. I wish the things will improve in the run-up to Paris.” 

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India will oppose the Paris text, rich nations cannot have an action holiday: Prakash Javadekar

Expressing reservations over the draft agreement for the climate summit in Paris next month, environment, forests and climate change minister Prakash Javadekar said he will seek changes that are in tune with the developing world’s expectations and suggested the developed nations must do more.

India will oppose the Paris text, rich nations cannot have an action holiday: Prakash Javadekar

Union environment, forests and climate change minister Prakash Javadekar

Q. India last week submitted its INDC which were well received due to ambitious targets. Can the goals be achieved? 

A. We have done quite an elaborate exercise to prepare our INDC (post-2020 climate action plan). It is comprehensive and ambitious. We have already taken a number of measures to increase our carbon sink through a massive afforestation drive. We will spend over Rs 2 lakh crore to increase forest cover in coming years. Our target to reduce emission intensity of GDP by 33-35% by 2030 from 2005 level and our goal to increase share of non-fossil fuel based energy resources by about 40% by 2030 are practical and pragmatic. It is now time for the developed world to ramp up their targets, keeping their historical responsibilities in mind. They should tell us what they all are doing as part of their pre-2020 actions. They should not have a five year ‘action holiday’ (2015-20). 

Q. Rich nations, including the US, have submitted respective INDCs. But, these pledges together cover only about 87% of emissions. How will you move towards Paris (COP21) with such low ambition? 

A. That’s why we are questioning developed countries and asking them come out immediately with their pre-2020 actions. After all, it was their historical emission (during 1850-2011) that led to 0.8 degree Celsius temperature rise in the post-industrialization phase. They must act and lead by example. I would also like to ask the rich nations to vacate carbon space for us (developing and poor countries). We want the rich nations to take care of their ‘lifestyles’ (excessive consumption) so that it can ensure ‘climate justice’ for poor people in the world. 

Q. What kind of outcome you are looking at Paris climate conference in these circumstances? 

A. We want Paris to be successful because we care for climate and care for poorer sections of the world. I would, however, like to underline that the first draft text of the Paris agreement (released two days ago) is quite disappointing. It does not inspire. I am not happy with the text. We should certainly have a different text for the Paris to become success. Our negotiators will oppose this first draft text during the next round of negotiation at Bonn. Our negotiators will submit India’s suggestions. I hope there will be more moderated and justifiable text on table after Bonn and pre-COP negotiations. I wish the things will improve in the run up to Paris. 

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