Ban calls on India to put forth commitments on climate change

SansadTV Bureau

UN Chief Ban Ki-moon has called on India, the world’s third-largest emitter, to spell out its nationally determined commitment on reducing emissions by June, saying a “constructive” role played by it will make a universal climate agreement possible in Paris next year.

Against the backdrop of significant announcements by the US and China on limiting greenhouse gases, the Secretary General looks to India to also announce its own Intended
Nationally Determined Commitment (INDCs) by June next year ahead of the 2015 climate conference in Paris where the new universal treaty on climate changes will be adopted.

India’s Environment Minister Prakash Javedkar will represent the country at the ministerial-level at the UN Climate Change Conference in the Peruvian capital, Lima this week.

On the commitment expected from India to rein in its growing emissions, Ban told , “It would be very helpful for India to put forth an Intended Nationally Determined Commitment by June 2015 that is ambitious and appropriate for India’s own development path.”

“In Lima, I expect countries to agree on the draft text of the Paris agreement and answer key questions on the nature of the commitments that will be made by countries next year. I encourage India to continue playing a key and constructive role that will make a meaningful, universal climate agreement possible next year when countries meet in Paris,” Ban said.

Following the US-China announcement last month, Ban had urged “all countries, especially all major economies,” to follow Beijing and Washington’s lead and announce ambitious post-2020 targets as soon as possible, but no later than the first quarter of 2015.

The UN Chief said while the commitments are to be determined nationally, “I would like to see them be as ambitious as possible, showing the world that countries intend over time to significantly reduce emissions, and perhaps come as close to climate-neutral as possible by the second half of this century.

“We cannot continue to negotiate a climate treaty in perpetuity. We need to reach an agreement in Paris in 2015 that allows the world to move ahead on actions that will benefit all. There is no time to delay. If we delay, individually or collectively, we all will pay— and the poorest and the most vulnerable will pay most,” he said.

The 20th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP), being held in Lima through December 12, brings together the 196 Parties to the UNFCCC, which is the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

India has said that the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions should be determined nationally and not internationally. Javadekar had said that responsibility of developed countries is different and must be recognised.

While India is the world’s third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, its long-held position is that it will not sacrifice eradicating poverty to limit carbon emissions.

In September, Javadekar had said at the Climate Summit at the UN that India is fully committed to achieving its voluntary goal for reducing Emission Intensity of its GDP by 20-25 per cent by 2020 over 2005 level.