India to be pro-active in enhancing energy efficiency: Govt

India will be pro-active in enhancing energy efficiency and expanding renewable energy in the fight against climate change, government told Parliament today while giving details of its role in a recent UN-led global meet on the issue.

PTI| Last Updated: Dec 22, 2014, 20:50 PM IST

New Delhi: India will be pro-active in enhancing energy efficiency and expanding renewable energy in the fight against climate change, government told Parliament today while giving details of its role in a recent UN-led global meet on the issue.

Making a suo-moto statement in Lok Sabha on UN Climate Conference held in Peruvian capital Lima this month, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said there were efforts by some developed countries to undermine the basic tenents of the UN Convention.

"The recognition that all elements need to be addressed in a balanced manner is a key outcome of the Conference as there were efforts by some developed countries to undermine the basic tenents of the Convention," the Minister said.

Javadekar said the key focus of the current negotiations were finalisation of elements of the draft negotiating text for 2015 Paris Agreement in view of the Durban (COP 2011) decision to finalise "a protocol, another legal agreement or an agreed outcome with legal force," applicable to all, by December, next year.

He said India was guided by the vision of the Government and Cabinet mandate and "our stand in the negotiations was also guided by the principle of Equity and Common But Differentiated Responsibilities," which is the bedrock principle of the UNFCCC.

"The Conference decided that the new agreement will be under the Convention and will reflect the principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities in the light of different national circumstances.

"It was also agreed that the new agreement will address all elements that is mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology development and transfer, capacity building and transparency of action and support in a balanced manner," Javadekar said.

Javadekar said some Parties were endeavouring to impose an ex-ante assessment of the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) in the process.

It meant that the INDCs would be mitigation centric and that after countries submit their INDCs, these would be aggregated to ascertain whether the sum total of contributions is adequate to achieve the global goal of containing temperature rise to below 2 degree Celsius by the end of the century from pre-industrial levels, he said.

Any gap between the two could mean pressure on countries to re-submit their INDCs or enhance their contributions. However, India and many other countries of the developing world were not in favour of such externally imposed review as it would compromise the sovereignty of Parties in determining their targets as per their national circumstances," the Minister said.

"We have been able to successfully ensure that countries can include adaptation, finance, technology transfer etc also in their INDCs in addition to mitigation and there is no "ex-ante assessment" to be undergone.

"Now countries have be submit quantifiable information on the reference point (base year), time frames, scope and planning process, assessments etc. Related to the INDCs.

"This would only be published on the UNFCCC website and a Synthesis Report of the aggregate effect of the INDCs of those Parties that have communicated their INDCs by 1st October, 2015 will be prepared by November 1, 2015," the Minister said.

Javadekar said the enhancement of action in the pre-2020 period was another important issue.

He said the Conference decided to accelerate action on enhancing the pre-2020 actions like early ratification of the Kyoto Protocol second commitment period, revisiting of targets and conditionalities associated with it and provision of finance, technology and capacity building support by developed countries to developing countries in consonance with Warsaw decisions.

"The Parties also agreed to organise further technical expert meetings to examine options for further action in the period 2015-2020," the Minister said.

Javadekar said on the issue of finance, it was decided that developed countries parties will provide and mobilise enhanced financial support to developing country parties for ambitious mitigation and adaptation action.

He said the Green Climate Fund has been set up and over 10 billion US dollars have already been pledged to it.

"However, the goal of mobilising 100 billion US dollars per year by 2020 is still a far cry.

"It was also decided to urge contributors to confirm pledges in the form of fully executed contribution agreements taking note of the fact that at least 50 per cent of pledges made till November, 2014 should be reflected as fully executed contribution agreements by April 30, 2015," he said.

The Minister also spoke about various initiatives taken by the government including the ambitious target of generating 100,000 MW of solar energy, doubling of cess on coal for clean technologies, rapid afforestation through the Green India Mission and devolution of CAMPA funds to the states, expansion in wind energy and other Energy Efficiency measures.

"We are working on the voluntary national goal of reducing energy intensity of GDP by 20-25 per cent by 2020 as compared to the base year of 2005," he said.

Noting that the recent UNEP Emission Gap report (2014) has recognised India as being one of the countries on track to achieve the voluntary pledges, he said, "We are committed to taking pro-active steps on enhancing energy efficiency and expansion of renewable in the fight against climate change."

"At the same time adaptation measures in agriculture, water resources and urban areas will remain our key priority," he said.

The Minister said the next year is likely to witness a series of meetings to finalise the new 2015 agreement.

"We will continue to participate actively in the negotiations and ensure that it is rooted in the Convention and its principles and our national interests," he added.