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India Won’t Announce CO2 Emissions Peak

Vishwa Mohan, The Economic Times of India

India declares that it is at a different stage of economic development and won’t announce its CO2 peaking year.

India — driven by domestic obligation of poverty eradication and food security — has sought to bring out in the open its expectations from the global climate agreement and insisted that the country would like to have a deal that has five pillars of strength which would help it and other developing countries meet basic needs of their population.

“We don’t want a mitigation centric deal that is being pushed by developed countries as we want to grow to end poverty”, said head of the Indian delegation Susheel Kumar while seeking to end any confusion over India’s stand in run up to the Paris summit where a global climate deal is expected to be sealed in December next year.

He said, “India will not budge from its stand as it strongly believes that mitigation will alone not solve the problem”.

The remarks came at a time when countries are preparing themselves for the crucial negotiation phase during the high-level segment, beginning next week when ministers of many countries would be here for the talks.

The main issues that are dividing countries here during the negotiations are centred on the excessive focus on mitigation (emission cut) by rich nations, which is opposed by the developing countries as they want focus on adaptation (preparing themselves to reduce the vulnerability and risk due to impact of climate change).

Emphasizing on a global adaptation goal in the climate deal, Kumar said, “It’s a global problem so there should be a global solution. The manifestation of it may be local but the goal should be global”.

Kumar, a senior environment and climate change ministry officer, also heads India’s pollution watchdog. “We want all five key elements — Adaptation, Mitigation, Finance, Technology Transfer and Capacity Building — must be there in the global climate deal,” he said.

As reported by the TOI, Kumar also formally stated that India would not announce its peaking year.

“We won’t announce the peaking year only because other countries have done that or in the process of doing that”, he said in a clear reference to China’s recent announcement of its peaking year.

He said India was in no hurry to announce its targets and would do so when it was ready.

Without mincing words, Kumar made it clear that India was at a different stage of economic development and it was not in a position to tell the world about its peaking year at this juncture.

He, at the same time, emphasized that India was quite sensitive to the problem of climate change and therefore would voluntarily do its best to reduce its emission through a low-carbon growth path where role of clean energy would gradually increase.

Asked about the announcement of the country’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) as countries will now start finalizing its elements, the delegation head said, “There is no hurry to do that. We have been working on it. We will come out with our comprehensive and well worked out plan at an appropriate time”.

Indicating that India would, hopefully, announce its INDCs in June next year, Kumar said, “We would know the template after conclusion of the ongoing Lima talks and we would work on it accordingly”.