Prakash Javadekar with counterparts from BASIC countries
Prakash Javadekar with counterparts from BASIC countries

PARIS: India today 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 also said 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,” Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said.

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 strongly put across its point that durable agreement at Paris “cannot” be crafted by “diluting” historical responsibilities or by putting the polluters and the victims at the same level.

It also 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,” he said during a negotiating session.

India also appreciated leadership and efforts of the Presidency while asserting that it associates itself with the statements made on behalf of G-77.

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.

India also stressed that the agreement must also “meaningfully” operationalise differentiation across all its elements which is “not clear” in the current draft.

India also said that it was in favour of a robust transparency mechanism but it should apply not just to mitigation but all other elements, particularly finance.

“The transparency mechanism should cover all countries, in a differentiated manner. Implementing the current system – which has not yet been made operational – is an essential component to build capacity and experience in developing countries. A transition period is therefore needed before changes could be made,” Javadekar said.

India also said concerns including unilateral measures, sustainable lifestyles and climate justice did not find a mention in the draft.

“We will examine the draft carefully and engage with all our partners to reach an agreement,” Javadekar said.

He said India sensitive towards the demands for capping global warming at 1.5 degree Celsius.

“On long term temperature goal, we are deeply sensitive to the demands for higher climate ambition. I understand fully the demand for mentioning 1.5 degrees, as we also have over 1300 islands in India,.

“However, a 1.5 degree goal would require developed countries to massively reduce their emissions and massively ‘scale up’ their financial support to developing countries. This is not happening,” Javadekar said during a negotiating session.

The goal of capping global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius find a mention in the draft negotiating text.

BASIC countries which also includes India have kept their options open for recognising the demand and had said that they were discussing the issue while “hoping” to reach an understanding soon.

In 2009, countries agreed to work towards ensuring that global temperatures do not rise beyond 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century.

There has been a consistent demand from the small island states, Least Developing Countries (LDC) and vulnerable countries for a downward revision to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Experts from India however today said the world must agree to a fair allocation of carbon space and massive enhancement of financial and technological support from the developed countries to developing ones to achieve this target.

Noting that developed countries will have to significantly increase the level of their own efforts and reach net zero emissions in the next 5-10 years, experts said that if they fail to do so, the 1.5 degree target will “remain a hollow shell – devoid of any real significance”.