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COP 27: India to stress action on climate finance by developed countries

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Maintaining that the 27th edition of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change should be the “COP of action”, Union Environment, Forests and Climate Change Minister Bhupender Yadav on Thursday said that India will “stress on action in climate finance, technology transfer and capacity building” at the upcoming event.

COP 27 will be held between November 6 and 11 at Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh.

Yadav said one of the key issues India will raise is that participating countries should clarify what constitutes climate finance, and how this should be disseminated.

“We will also demand that adaptation finance and mitigation finance should be equal. While there has been movement on mitigation at COP 26, there needs to be emphasis on adaptation as well,” said Yadav, who will leave for Egypt on Saturday to attend the summit.

COP 26 was held in Glasgow, the UK, from October 31 to November 12 last year.


Burden on developed world

Over the last couple of COPs, India has been raising the issue of commitment by developed countries to transfer $100 billion annually to assist developing countries meet their climate targets. India’s position as representative of the developing world has been that the developed countries have historically been responsible for high greenhouse gas emissions. So, it is their responsibility to assist developing countries with climate finance and transfer of technology, India maintains.

On Thursday, Yadav said: “Climate finance has not been defined. In the absence of a definition, there is no clarity on what it entails, its quantity, and its scope. Will climate finance be in the form of loans, grants or subsidies? Will it be private or public financing? All of this should be clearly defined.”

Environment Secretary Leena Nandan said: “The issue that we have said very clearly, in which we are joined by several developing countries, is that $100 billion that has been talked about since Copenhagen (2009 climate change conference) is yet to be seen. How is anyone claiming that climate finance is flowing to countries when what understood climate finance is yet to be established? Everything India has achieved so far has been on the basis of our own resources.”

“The expectation from COP 27 is that there is an acknowledgment of the importance of adaptation finance and the crucial role it plays in lives and livelihoods which are being affected by climate change,” she said. “What are the kinds of soft loans available? What is the credit mechanism in place for adaptation finance? These are issues which we will flag very strongly.”

Nandan said India will focus on concessional and climate-specific grants, progress towards target of mobilization of $100 billion annually, a new collective quantified goal (NCQG) on climate finance and the need to specify the quantity of long-term finance in trillions, the quality of this finance and its scope as well as ease of access to finance and with methods of tracking flows of such finance in a transparent manner.

India will also “strongly oppose all attempts to rewrite and redefine the Convention and its Paris Agreement”.