India on course to submit Intended Nationally Determined Contributions for climate change
India is at an advanced stage of finalizing its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) and is on course to meet the deadline for submission of INDCs by September 30, 2015. The country would not restrict its outlook on INDCs to climate change but also tailor them to sustainable development goals, said Ashok Lavasa, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, at FICCI's 'Industry Consultation on India's Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) for Climate Change' in New Delhi on July 14, 2015.
Lavasa said that it has been fundamentally recognised that the right to development is basic to human beings and all societies and this right is exercised by the government and citizens keeping in view the aspirations of the people and available resources. Hence, the biggest challenge for India is to develop INDCs such that the country's growth is not hampered and carbon emissions also remain within an acceptable limit.
Referring to the US-China statement of last year, Lavasa said that it is well recognised that developing countries will grow and so will their carbon emission. Hence, he urged the stakeholders to recommend feasible solutions to develop constructive and comprehensive INDCs. Citing the National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE), which seeks to strengthen the market for energy efficiency by creating conducive regulatory and policy regime, Lavasa added that the government had already initiated other such programmes for sustainable growth of the country.
Elaborating on the role of industry, Lavasa said that his ministry was revising norms for various sectors to create an
The INDCs present an important opportunity for India to showcase its climate leadership through the communication of its past, present and future climate ambitions.
environment where there is less stress on ecology. He added that there are sectors that have improved water efficiency and adopted other measures, which would eventually help in reducing carbon emissions.
Lavasa stated that developed and developing countries are currently submitting their national post-2020 climate action commitments, but it is essential to understand that pre-2020 actions for adaption and mitigation are also imperative. He added that there was a need to set ambitious targets and scale up the pre-2020 actions to achieve the goal of INDCs.
In his macro presentation on 'The INDC Framework for India', Ravi Shankar Prasad, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, said that one of the main priorities is to maintain a balance between mitigation and adaptation contributions while formulating the INDCs. The comprehensive INDCs would also project the requirement of support in terms of finance, technology transfers and to an extent capacity building requirements. He added, INDCs would be drawn from all the national missions and other initiatives under National Action Plan on Climate Change as well as SAPCC and targets set by the government.
Elaborating on the role of private sector, Prasad said that active participation from private sector was needed. Besides corporations, investors, governments and citizen must take responsibility to create the systemic change we need for an environmentally sustainable economy. He added that there was need to identify actions for reducing emissions as well as for adaptation. Also, voluntary domestic carbon market was being explored that can be linked with Corporate Social Responsibility.
Dr. Prodipto Ghosh, Chair, FICCI Climate Change Task Force and Former Secretary, MoEF, in his theme address, touched on a number of issues that would have to be resolved before an agreement could be arrived at in Paris. He said that from the developing country perspective, the Paris outcome has to be equitable. This applies not only to mitigation, but adaptation, provision of finance, technology, and capacity building as well; second, is the question of provision of finance at the level of $100 billion a year by 2020 as pledged at Copenhagen. Can we insist on a process of assessment, on the basis of agreed equity principles for ensuring this capitalisation; third, the question of differentiation between Annex I and non-Annex I countries.
Furthermore, Dr. Ghosh said that there is also the critical question of balance between the pillars of mitigation, adaptation, and loss and damage in the Paris agreement between the developed and developing countries. On the issue of INDCs, we need to be mindful that all INDCs put on the table will be subject to international accountability through the MRV process.
Also, there is the question of international legally binding
nature of the Paris outcome. On the need for a global carbon market, there may be movement, post-Paris, to a system of fungibility between the carbon credits from different national and regional markets, he said. There is a need to take a view on the USChina joint statement about their respective approaches to Paris.
Dr. Arbind Prasad, Director General, FICCI, said that the INDCs present an important opportunity for India to showcase its climate leadership through the communication of its past, present and future climate ambitions. It is clear that leadership in climate change has not been forthcoming from countries which are responsible for the historical emissions. Therefore, countries such as India, likely to be acutely impacted by climate change would need to develop a strategy on two formats - pressing major emitters to increase their mitigation and adaptation targets; and ramping up its national ambition to reduce the vulnerability of its own population to climate risks while balancing high economic growth.
Rita Roy Choudhury, Senior Director & Head, Environment, Climate Change, Renewable Energy & Water Division, FICCI, in her concluding remarks, said INDCs would present an opportunity to define not just the scope of action in the conventional realm of carbon intensive sectors, but also to suggest the scope for futuristic action, particularly in the context of new and emerging technologies that would contribute to a low carbon trajectory in the post 2020 period. To that extent, there is scope for INDCs to look at scaling up, addressing existing gap areas, and building in new and emerging areas.
L to R: Dr. Prodipto Ghosh, Chair, FICCI Climate Change Task Force and Former Secretary, MoEF; Ashok Lavasa, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change; Dr. Arbind Prasad, Director General, FICCI and Rita Roy Choudhury, Senior Director & Head, Environment, Climate Change, Renewable Energy & Water Division, FICCI.