Conference of Parties (COP 27) and ensuring climate justice


India is a Party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), its Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement. Under the Paris Agreement, the long-term temperature goal of holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels has been agreed upon by the countries ratifying Paris Agreement. As per the synthesis report on the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of the UNFCCC secretariat released this year, the current action plans of all countries if implemented, would still exceed the long-term temperature goal of 20C. The achievement of the Paris Agreement temperature goals will depend on developed countries taking the lead in mitigation, as per Article 3.1 of the UNFCCC and Article 4.4 of the Paris Agreement, and overcoming their deficits in their pre-2020 mitigation responsibilities and commitments, and the provision of climate finance, technology transfer, and capacity building.

On India’s part, despite our minimal responsibility for the current temperature increase, every effort at enhanced ambition is being undertaken, based on equity and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. These include India’s updated NDCs and declaration of net zero by 2070 and tremendous efforts in domestic climate action with a wide range of initiatives, programs, and schemes.

The recently concluded 27th session of the Conference of Parties (COP 27) to the UNFCC has been termed as an implementation COP’. Major outcomes of COP 27 inter alia include a decision on establishing a loss &damage fund and work programs for mitigation, just transition, and climate action in agriculture.

India’s efforts included focusing on equity, mainstreaming national circumstances and concerns for adaptation in agriculture, the need for equity while pursuing any specific results on global peaking, net zero and emission reduction targets, supporting fair shares of the global carbon budget, and funding arrangements for loss and damage. India’s efforts also led to the inclusion of the reference to the need for transition to sustainable lifestyles together with sustainable patterns of production and consumption in the cover decision titled ‘Sharm El-Sheikh Implementation Plan’. At COP 27, India’s negotiations were based on the foundational principle of equity and the best available science to draw developed countries’ attention to their unfulfilled commitments. The G77+China which represents more than 80% of the world population united to produce just and equitable outcomes. In the COP 26 and COP 27,India contributed to decisions that have explicitly made unprecedented expressions of regret and concern at the failure of developed countries to meet their commitments in climate finance.

The cooperative effort of G77+China members, the BrazilSouth AfricaIndia and China(BASIC) coalition and the Like-Minded Developing Countries coalition led to positive outcomes on loss and damage, equity, finance, adaptation and other such issues.  India plays an active role in all the three coalitions. India has consistently put forward to these coalitions the importance of historical responsibility of developed countries, the importance of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, and the operationalisation of principles of equity and climate justice through the assertion of their right to a fair and equitable share of the global carbon budget. As a result of India’s efforts, these issues have been put forward in varying ways by developing countries in joint submissions to the UNFCCC, and other joint statements and declarations at various levels, including the ministerial.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey in a written reply in Rajya Sabha on December 16.

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