India has set ground rules for Paris climate negotiations: CSE

CSE wants a stable and effective deal and hopes that the provision of fair allocation of carbon space finds clear articulation in the Paris agreement.

Le Bourget (France): Terming it a "major shift" in India's stand, an India-based green body Tuesday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech at the crucial climate conference here has set the "ground rules" for Indian negotiators to work towards an ambitious and equitable deal.

Welcoming Modi's speech, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said Modi articulated the principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) in terms of carbon space for the first time and has set the tone for the negotiations.

"Prime Minister Modi's demand for a fair share of carbon space for developing countries has suggested the way to operationalise equity," said CSE's director general Sunita Narain.

"CSE wants a stable and effective deal and hopes that the provision of fair allocation of carbon space finds clear articulation in the Paris agreement. Our hope is that the Indian negotiators will work with other developing countries to achieve this," she said.

The advocacy body said India has demanded a fair share of the remaining carbon space for developing countries while it has also called for equity and CBDR to remain the "bedrock" for collective action in the Paris climate agreement.

Modi during his speech yesterday urged developed countries to recognise the challenges faced by developing nations in dealing with the impacts of climate change and asked them to meet the financial commitment of USD 100 billion per year 2020 onwards.

"Modi's speech has set the tone for the two weeks of negotiations at Paris. It has provided the ground rules for the Indian negotiators to work towards operationalising equity and accomplish an ambitious deal at Paris," said CSE's deputy director general Chandra Bhushan, who is camping here.

CSE said that the fifth assessment report of the Inter- governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has clearly put out a number on the amount of carbondioxide the world can emit to maintain the safety threshold of a temperature increase of less than 2 degrees since the pre-industrial levels.

This carbon space of 1,000-1,400 billion tonnes, which can be emitted from now until 2100, is fast disappearing, it said.

"Consider, for instance, the UNFCCC's synthesis report on the aggregate effect of the intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs). By 2030, if countries do not increase their ambition to reduce emissions, 60-75 per cent of the carbon budget will be exhausted. Developed countries would appropriate a significant amount of this budget," Bhushan said.

CSE's analysis shows that in 2030, the Human Development Index (HDI) of South Asia and most African countries will be less than 0.65. These countries will need carbon budget post-2030 to meet their basic development needs like food, shelter, infrastructure and energy.

Allocation of a fair share of carbon budget, therefore, is essential for the future growth of developing countries, it said.

"By focusing on the principles of the 1992 climate convention as the basis for the Paris climate agreement, with particular emphasis on the role of developed countries in addressing climate change, the Indian Prime Minister has opposed rewriting of the convention which, of late, has been the agenda of developed countries, particularly the United States," Bhushan added.

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