COPing with Climate Change: India and Gandhi at COP 25 in Madrid
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted in the year 1992. Since then, Parties to the Convention have met at least once a year to further its implementation. This year, the 25th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC – COP 25 – is taking place in Madrid, Spain (under the Presidency of Chile) from 2-13 December 2019.
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved India’s negotiating stand on 27 November, 2019. The Indian delegation at COP 25 is led by Shri Prakash Javadekar, Hon’ble Minister, Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
The India Pavilion at COP 25 was inaugurated by the MoEFCC Secretary Shri C.K. Mishra and is themed on celebrating 150 years of the birth anniversary of Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. The life and messages of Mahatma Gandhi on sustainable living are aptly depicted at the India Pavilion. It also features the humble Charkha, which is the physical embodiment of Gandhian principles of perseverance, self-sufficiency and sustainability.
India’s leadership on climate change has been evident and well recognized across the globe. Government of India has been undertaking several initiatives to address climate change concerns under the leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi and these initiatives reflect India’s commitment and ambition towards climate action.
India’s recent efforts towards adapting to changing climate include:
- Apart from National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) each State has its own State Disaster Management Authority to deal with extreme events. National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP) has been formulated to assist all stakeholders including State Governments in disaster risk management of various hazards including hazards related to climate change.
- The National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (NRCMP) is under implementation in eight coastal states to mitigate the sufferings of the coastal community.
- Under National Monsoon Mission, the Ministry of Earth Sciences has set up state of the art dynamical prediction systems for short, medium & extended range forecasts and seasonal forecasts.
- In addition to the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) that provides a framework for all climate actions, the Government is also implementing a National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change scheme to support adaptation measures of States/UTs in areas that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change.
Importance of COP 25
COP 25 is an important Conference as countries prepare to move from pre-2020 period under Kyoto Protocol to post-2020 period under Paris Agreement. India’s approach will be guided by principles and provisions of UNFCCC and Paris Agreement particularly the principles of Equity and Common But Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capability (CBDR-RC).
India’s stand at COP 25
- India has been leading the world in its pursuit of enhanced solar energy capacity through International Solar Alliance (ISA). In the recently held Climate Action Summit convened by United Nations Secretary General, the Prime Minister announced India’s plan on scaling up of renewable energy target to 450 GW and called for responsible action by all on the principles of equity and CBDR-RC.
- Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, is one of the new initiatives that will serve as a platform to generate and exchange knowledge on different aspects of climate and disaster resilient infrastructure.
- ‘Leadership Group for Industry Transition’ is second in line and is launched jointly by India and Sweden. It will provide a platform for government and the private sector in different countries to work together on accelerating low carbon growth and cooperation in the area of technology innovation.
- India has been emphasizing on the need of developed countries to take lead in undertaking ambitious actions and fulfill their climate finance commitments of mobilizing USD 100 billion per annum by 2020 and progressively and substantially scale up their financial support to inform Parties for future action through NDCs.
- India will further stress upon need for fulfilling pre-2020 commitments by developed countries and that pre-2020 implementation gaps should not present an additional burden to developing countries in the post-2020 period.
India’s (NDC) under the Paris Agreement: A Recap
Under the Paris Agreement, India had submitted the following Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC):
- Reducing of emissions intensity of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 33 to 35 % by 2030 from 2005 level
- Achieving about 40% cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel energy resources by 2030
- To create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 eq through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.
Overall, India looks forward to engaging in negotiations with a constructive and positive outlook and work towards protecting its long-term development interests.