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IPCC Report Confirms India’s Advocacy for Equity & Climate Justice, says Govt

The deliberations that led to the IPCC's latest synthesis report highlighted profound disagreements between wealthy nations and developing countries like India about the resources needed to tackle the climate disaster and the developed world's involvement in provoking the emergency.

Shivam Dwivedi
India was joined by Brazil & South Africa in requesting unambiguous wording on equity and climate justice
India was joined by Brazil & South Africa in requesting unambiguous wording on equity and climate justice

The world's greatest body of climate experts issued another another warning about the hazards of exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius of global warming. According to two briefing documents on the negotiations, India offered a variety of interventions to address the concerns of historical accountability, emissions based on high consumption by the rich, and very inadequate climate financing flows from developed countries.

Wealthy countries tried to reframe the narrative from a lack of climate finance delivery to developing countries by diluting it down to being only an issue of impediments to finance, according to a briefing paper produced by the Third World Network (TWN), an observer organization at the IPCC.

According to the network, India needed more granular and thorough information on mitigation solutions, including costs, benefits, evidence for effectiveness, feasibility, and deployment. It was also disappointed that there was little representation from developing nations and that the report's review procedure was not inclusive.

The International Institute of Sustainable Development (IISD) highlighted in its current Earth Negotiations Newsletter that there were substantial schisms in how the Global North and Global South responded to the panel's findings. According to the IISD, India was joined by Brazil and South Africa in requesting unambiguous wording on equity and climate justice, as well as efficient methods of implementation, including funding, under the idea of shared but differentiated responsibilities.

According to the report, India and China also rejected the drive to say dramatic increases in global surface temperatures over the last 50 years since it does not provide a whole picture of what caused the crisis. India, with the support of Saudi Arabia, China, South Africa, Brazil, and Mexico, proposed keeping language that covers net historical carbon dioxide emissions from 1850 to 1989 (58%) and 1990 to 2019 (42%), rather than focusing solely on emissions from 1990 to 2019. The numbers were agreed upon by the panel. JR Bhatt, senior scientific adviser at the environment ministry; T Jayaraman from the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation; and Tejal Kanitkar, assistant professor at the National Institute of Advanced Studies formed India's delegation to the IPCC.

Tanmay Kumar, the ministry's additional secretary, led the delegation. In response to HT's questions, the ministry stated, "India undertook a number of particular and wide-ranging interventions, beginning with the opening plenary session itself." "These included insisting on specific references to equity per se in the context of various aspects of climate action, specific references to differentiation between developed and developing countries, and linking equity to the question of developed countries' historical responsibility for past emissions and taking the lead in current climate action, including the transfer of funds and technology from developed to developing countries."

In terms of finance and technology transfer, India intervened to include "provision of finance primarily from public sources, ensuring the scale, scope, and speed of climate finance, as well as ensuring that such finance was predominantly in the form of grants or concessional loans rather than loans per se, and must be guaranteed not to increase the debt burden of developing countries," according to the ministry. The Indian delegation repeatedly stated that technology transfer was a vital part of the means of implementing various mitigation and adaptation measures.

At the conclusion of the negotiations, which were attended by government representatives from 195 countries, India noted that the actual space devoted to important issues in the IPCC's synthesis report was quite limited and did not address issues of equity and justice in the context of global mitigation and adaptation efforts, burden sharing, and the provision of means of implementation (finance, technology transfer and capacity building).

Overshooting 1.5°C would result in permanent impacts and dangers for human and ecological systems, with the size and duration of overshoot increasing with the magnitude and duration of overshoot, according to the IPCC's synthesis report released on March 20. The 1.5°C target will be met over the next several years, even under the lowest emissions scenario, according to the analysis.

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