New Delhi: Climate change is one of the most compelling global challenges. The urgency for global climate action cannot be overemphasised. In this background, on 23 September, 2019, the Secretary-General of the United Nations Mr António Guterres will host the Climate Action Summit in New York to ramp up the climate actions worldwide.
India, as a responsible nation, has endeavoured to do its best of its abilities and national circumstances, for adaptation and mitigation actions, keeping in mind the imperatives of sustainable development and poverty eradication. But in order to respond to the worldwide call for stepping up climate actions, it will have to be matched with adequate provision of climate finance from developed countries to developing countries as mandated by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) under the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities and equity. Climate finance is a key pillar in enabling climate actions. The recent estimates for taking climate actions are laying out a case for trillions of Dollars and not billions, in new and additional financing. But the momentum of these flows- the present scope, scale and speed of climate finance, is insufficient and inadequate. Enhanced ambition and enhanced support should be at equal footing. So, a serious discourse on climate finance is undeniable to take climate actions effectively.
Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India has brought out a Discussion Paper titled “Climate Summit for Enhanced Action: A Financial Perspective from India” which examines various issues on climate finance comprehensively – Finance in Climate Treaties, Climate Finance Delivery-A Reality Check, the 3 Essential ‘S’s of Climate Finance- Scope, Scale and Speed, India’s Climate Actions despite Economic Imperatives, Emergence of New “Priorities”, “Ambitions” and “Externalities”– New Asks and Indian Response to Climate Emergency: Some Considerations. The Discussion Paper makes an analysis of the post Paris Agreement developments and indicates that more actions need to be taken to meet objectives of the Agreement, whichin turn depends on the momentum of international climate finance, in terms of new and additionalclimate finance, technological and capacity building support. In essence, the 3 essential “S” s of climate finance has not been clearly translated into reality.
India’s Nationally Determined Contribution ison a “best effort” basis, keeping in mind the developmental imperatives of the country.So, finance holds a key for all its actions. At this juncture, the provision of technology and finance is uncertain; India can only aspire to implement the already promised climate actions and do equally well or better in comparison to economies with similar levels of development.As Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi put it, “Earlier, India was walking, but New India will be running.” This means massive infrastructure development in the country. The year 2023 is the time when the global community will do first global stocktake under the Paris Agreement. This is the time, when India will be better placed to consider a mid-term assessment of its actions and suitably recalibrate through re-examination and improvement. For the present, India may only be in a position to elaborate or clarify its post 2020 climate actions already pledged in its NDC.