India’s climate negotiation strategy to put emission-cut burden on developed countries
The Union Cabinet approved the Union Environment and Forests Ministry and climate negotiators’ team strategy to reassert the significance of historical emissions in the new climate pact, which is to be discussed at Warsaw beginning November 11, 2013.
Clearance was given to the non-negotiable lines for the team deciding that India would ensure that in a pledge-based top-down agreement the burden to take emission cuts for meeting the 2 degree Celsius target lies majorly on the developed countries.
What is the bottom-up approach in the context of climate change agreement?
The 195 countries who have ratified the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), have decided to exercise bottom-up approach under the new global climate pact to be signed in 2015. In this format each country volunteers targets for emission cut based on its capability instead of a top-down approach where targets are set through the negotiations for each country. Some nations have suggested that the volunteered targets can then be evaluated to see if they add up to meet the requirement of keeping the global temperature rise below 2 degree Celsius. The U.S. has disagreed and demanded that increasing the volunteered targets should be left to the respective nation to decide and there should not be a formal mechanism forcing the country to do so.
India’s strategy for Warsaw Climate talks and Climate Pact 2015:
- To ensure that the global agreement should be along the bottoms-up approach but any gap between volunteered cuts of all countries and the cumulative global agreement should be met by the developed nations which have a historical obligation to combat climate change.
- To not agree to processes extrinsic to the UNFCCC set up to fight climate change. India would not agree to sector-specific targets or targets for administrative entities lower than the Union government, such as city and town councils.
- To ensure 2015 agreement is under the current U.N. convention and not in violation of any of its elements and principles for India to be part of it.
- To work with the BASIC and the Like-Minded Developing Countries to ensure that the rich nations put a clear timeline to how and when they shall provide the promised U.S. $100 billion by 2020.
- To not allow private investments in green technologies from developed world be sold as a replacement for inter-country transfers.
- To reassert India’s stance on the controversial issue of HFCs refrigerant gases that harm the climate — which had recently found support from China and select other G20 nations.
- India would see that any phase out of the gases is done under the principles of the UNFCCC which includes the principle of common but differentiated responsibility and equity.