Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
20-November-2018 13:34 IST
Address of Union Environment Minister at BASIC ministerial meet in New Delhi.

Following is the text of the Union Environment Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan’s welcome address today, at the ministerial meet of BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) Countries, being hosted by MoEFCC in New Delhi.

“I welcome you all to 27th BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change in this historic city of Delhi. The Paris Agreement is historic too, and we all know its role in uniting countries, both developed and developing, in their resolve to do their utmost in the fight against climate change.

This Agreement is particularly significant as it represents the faith that countries, especially the developing countries, have placed in the multilateral processesknowing well that their actions towards addressing climate change will have a strong developmental impact.

Although BASIC group of countries are the leading emerging economies, still they have significant percentage of the world’s poorest people. For us, enabling the growth of the poor out of poverty trap, is an important part of our response to tackling climate change and we know that the opportunities for the two efforts to complement each other are significant. To that effect, the efforts outlined in our NDCs - increasing clean energy production and access, deploying new energy efficient technologies, and adapting to low carbon-intensive lifestyles – are targeted at creating opportunities for sustainable livelihoods, and sustainable development for the poor.

To further these objectives, we need to ensure that the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP) is prepared in accordance with the agreed principles of Equity and Common But Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC) as enshrined in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Paris Agreement.

In addition, anchoring the COP 24 outcomes in the vision of equity will help deliver climate justice not only to the present but also to our future generations.

The climate actions of developing countries are ambitious despite the fact our contribution to the issue of climate change is minimal. The historical responsibility lies squarely with the developed countries. Therefore, it is the developed countries who must fulfil their climate obligations expeditiously. They must take the lead in the fight against climate change by their actions as well as the provision of enhanced financial and other support to developing countries for enabling them to enhance their climate ambition.

Lack of ambition of developed countries and their unfulfilled promises should not place additional burden on developing countries to further enhance the level of ambition of their NDCs.

   We must ensure that the progress on NDCs at COP 24 does not yield an outcome that is

   Mitigation-centric but it should address all elements including mitigation, adaptation,

   finance, technology development and transfer and capacity building.

Barriers continue to impede the progress of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency deployment. We must attack these barriers. High patent cost of such technologies and non-facilitative IPR regimes are barriers that the Financial Mechanism should address. We are not asking IPR regime to be tampered or dismantled but only support for quick dissemination of technologies.

We need to explore possibilities to fund research and development of climate friendly technologies and shorten technology deployment cycle in absence of which transformative development would be delayed.

Adaptation is a pressing issue for developing countries. They are highly vulnerable to climate change impacts as is also evident from the recent natural disasters and extreme events, which have caused extensive damage to life and property. Naturally, adaptation is an integral part of most developing country NDCs. Since the developing countries have played little role in the present climate change challenge and bearing the brunt of the historic greenhouse gas emissions by developed countries, adequate support must be provided to developing countries by developed countries to help them undertake adaptation actions.

The reporting under the transparency framework should be based on the principle of differentiation, providing greater flexibility to developing countries, and should also provide relevant information on the support provided by developed countries to developing countries.

A balanced approach towards development of Modalities, Procedures and Guidelines (MPGs) for the Enhanced Transparency Framework that enhances global action and financial support will serve us well in the negotiations at Katowice. In addition, adequate support should be provided to developing countries to participate in the enhanced transparency framework under the Paris Agreement.

The developed countries seem to be shedding their responsibilities in pre-2020 period and delaying climate action, which is neither in accordance with the agreed principles of the UNFCCC, or latest scientific findings on climate change. This would not only put additional mitigation burden on developing countries in post-2020 period but will also increase the overall costs and present greater economic challenges for us to make a transition to low carbon growth pathway.

At COP 24, we must prioritize pre-2020 agenda as it would help build trust among Parties and strengthen their faith in the multilateral process.Developed countries should be encouraged to fulfil their pre-2020 commitments even in the post 2020 period and this will form a strong foundation for post 2020 action.

Finance is one of the critical enablers of climate actions in developing countries along with technology development and transfer and capacity-building support.  Any regression or slow progress on these will hamper the progress of developing countries towards achieving higher ambition in their actions. We find that there is considerable difference in what is communicated as climate finance by different countries. Public finance in the form of grants and concessional finance is required for climate actions.

Developed countries are far from realizing their climate finance commitment of mobilizing USD 100 billion per year by 2020. They should not only make urgent efforts to honour this commitment but also progressively and substantially scale up their financial support in post-2020 period. The developed countries should finalize a new collective finance goal in time for the global stocktake in 2023 which would inform Parties for future action through NDCs.

India looks forward to constructive engagement and meaningful outcomes from the Facilitative Talanoa Dialogue at COP 24 that will pave a way for a better starting point in 2020 for the implementation of the Paris Agreement.”