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India insists on “differentiation” in Paris climate draft
December 10, 2015, 8:08 am

Participants work at the venue of Paris Climate Change Conference at Le Bourget on the northern suburbs of Paris, France, Dec. 9, 2015 [Xinhua]

Participants work at the venue of Paris Climate Change Conference at Le Bourget on the northern suburbs of Paris, France, Dec. 9, 2015 [Xinhua]

India on Thursday said several of its concerns, including voluntary pledges of nations on climate change, have not been incorporated in the new draft which “is the starting point for the final push” as negotiators raced against time to reach an accord to fight global warming.

India is sticking to its stance that the goal of capping global warming at 1.5 degree Celsius from pre-industrial times will require developed countries to “massively” reduce their emissions and “scale up” the financial support to developing countries.”I must stress that the concept of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) is a great innovation and has proved a game-changer. It has enabled the participation of over 186 countries. Yet, INDCs are not even mentioned in the draft,” India’s Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said.

President Barack Obama spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over phone on Wednesday as differences persist between developed and developing countries on the Paris draft.

New Delhi has termed as “disappointing” the issue of finance, saying while developed countries failed to fulfil their obligations, they are also trying to “shift” their responsibility to developing nations.

“On finance, it is deeply disappointing that on the one hand developed countries are not fulfilling their obligations and on the other hand, they are trying to shift their responsibilities to developing countries themselves. There is no indication of scaling up of finance nor a clear roadmap,” Javadekar said during a negotiating session in Paris.

The first draft of the Paris Outcome, prepared after two days of high-level ministerial deliberations, was released by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius yesterday at the crucial climate change conference scheduled to end tomorrow.

The draft negotiating text is now of 29 pages down from a 43-page version and was circulated to all the negotiating countries.

India has said a durable agreement at Paris “cannot” be crafted by “diluting” historical responsibilities or by putting the “polluters” and the “victims” at the same level.

Describing the latest draft as the “starting point for the final push”, Javadekar said there were many “points of departure” at this stage of negotiations and much work is need to reach a point of convergence.

India also made it clear that the agreement which is being crafted “must carefully” balance climate ambition and the principle of differentiation as both are equally important and one cannot have one without the other.

“It needs to be reaffirmed upfront in the agreement that it is under the Convention (UNFCCC) and in accordance with its principles. Its objective is to enhance the implementation of the Convention across all its pillars,” Javadekar said.

“This is crucial. The principles of the Convention must be stated correctly without any unnecessary additions,” he added.

The US has insisted on “transparency mechanisms” on measuring and verifying climate action by all countries and is arguing against exempting anyone from this except for the “least developed countries”.

The US is also insisting on developing but “capable” countries like India and China to accept more responsibility.

Both New Delhi and Beijing have reiterated that they will not budge from the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities across all elements of the Paris agreement.

 

TBP and Agencies

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