Investment flows can't be treated as climate finance: India

India Monday said investment flows -- which can have green benefits -- cannot be treated as climate finance, that should ideally come from public funding or there should be a subvention for industries to adopt climate-friendly technologies.

New Delhi: India Monday said investment flows -- which can have green benefits -- cannot be treated as climate finance, that should ideally come from public funding or there should be a subvention for industries to adopt climate-friendly technologies.

While demanding the need to curb "discrimination" against industries from major developing countries in global carbon market, the country also emphasised the need to consider transfer of green technologies at affordable cost from developed world to the developing nations.

India insisted that the above issues need to be addressed seriously while finalising the new global climate pact in Paris later this year.

"We have been saying that investment flow is not climate change finance. Investment flow in any case happens, and that is in anticipation of return of investment.

"Therefore, investment per se unless it is on differentiated interest to promote climate-friendly technologies, can't be considered as climate finance," said Susheel Kumar, Additional Secretary in the Environment Ministry.

He flagged India's concerns with visiting French Special Envoy for Conference of Parties (COP)-21 Laurence Tubiana here at a Ficci organised business interactive session.

Asserting that finance should come from both public and private channels, Kumar said, "What should be climate finance is either public funding or some kind of a subvention for the industry to adopt climate-friendly technologies."

Developed countries have committed to mobilise USD 100 billion each year by 2020 to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) -- set up under the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2010 -- to help developing countries deal with climate change.

India and other developing countries have been seeking clarity on ways to mobilise the targeted GCF. They have been insisting that climate fund should be via public funding so that there is credibility of the commitment.

The French Special Envoy, Tubiana said efforts are being made to ensure that developed countries fulfil the promises they made to mobile climate fund.

"However, the question remains whether to raise the quantum of climate fund post 2020 or should we have net target - all these issues need to be addressed before the Paris meeting," she said.

Noting that the developing countries can't wait for green technologies, she said, "We can't wait for 20 years to get technologies. It is too long. We don't have time. We should come forward with ideas how we can build a cooperation mechanism to get everybody on board."

Special Envoy of the French President for the Protection of the Plant, Nicolas Hulut said that the forthcoming G-20 meeting to be held in Turkey in November will discuss about the climate finance issue.

"If developed countries have to honour their commitment, then it is important to clarify the modalities... All these issues will be discussed at G-20 meeting," he added.

Emphasising the need to remove barriers for free flow of

technologies, Additional Secretary Kumar said the developing countries feel that there is "reluctance" from countries holding intellectual property rights (IPRs) to part with cutting-edge technologies in a short time.

"The diffusion happens but after a very long time. Somehow, we have to find a mechanism by which this reluctance, which is a barrier, vanishes. At least if it does not vanish, it gets diminished to a significant extent," he said.

There is a cost involved with IPRs but efforts should be made not to inhibit industry in developing countries to adopt green technologies, he added.

Though green technologies and finances are needed for achieving low carbon future, but equally important issue is having resilient future in which adoption is done on an equal and balanced way, he said.

The official said, "Whatever the country wants, whether in terms of adaptation or mitigation, that should be promoted and the industry works in both ways. I hope the agreement (in Paris) will have the provision to ensure this balance stay even for future."

Stating that finance and good business environment are required to scale up efforts to reduce carbon emissions, Kumar said, "In carbon market, we are very much in the forefront to take the advantage of the mechanism. ...Now we are getting fillers that probably there is some kind of unwritten discrimination against the industries from some of the major developing countries."

"They have been discouraged and carbon credits have not been purchased. That kind of disincentive should be curbed and wherever there is market mechanism, it should be allowed to function and there should not be any barrier," he said.

On UN talks to be held in Paris to finalise new climate agreement for post-2020 implementation, the French Special envoy to COP-21, Tubiana said: "This time the discussion is clearly on economic side. We are not discussing an environment treaty, we are talking about something that will define the economic drivers for the future of economy."

The new climate pact from business perspective should be "universal, equitable, and applicable to all" and provide adequate means for implementation, she said.

She also said that INDCs (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) are setting a new discussion before the Paris meeting. However, the target set by each country in their INDCs should be broad and sector specific.

INDCs are voluntary pledges that countries are making to cut carbon pollution ahead of UN climate meet in Paris at the end of the year. The meeting is supposed to come out with a new global climate agreement.