India to demand greater resource allocation towards climate change

Written by feBureau | New Delhi | Updated: Nov 27 2008, 08:38am hrs
Notwithstanding the global financial crisis, India would push for larger financial allocation by the developed countries towards climate change mitigation and adaptation in the forthcoming meet under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) schedule to be held in Poznan, Poland next month.

Funds accumulated under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is in adequate to take up any mitigation work as the current scale of funding in really small, Vijai Sharma, secretary, ministry of environment and forest told reporters on Wednesday.

Under CDM (2008-2012) ratified under the UNFCCC allows developed nations to give financial incentives to companies in developing countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Out of the total carbon trading business of $ 64 billion, 2% goes towards mitigation and adaptation funds which ensure advanced green technology transfer from developed and developing countries.

Carbon trading should be expanded as funds generated from is too meager to take up any affective mitigation work, Sharma said. He said the India would demand from the developed countries, which have huge carbon footprint, additional financial resource allocation or commitment beyond official development assistance.

According an official with the ministry of environment and forest, climate change adaptation and mitigation strategy requires around $80 billion per annum while at present only about $70 million has been collected under the CDM. The financial resources committed under the UN convention cannot be new and additional if they merely divert any existing resources including ODA towards poverty alleviation in developing countries, the official said.

India is sending a strong delegation to 14th conference of parties to the UNFCC and 4th meeting of the parties under the Kyoto Protocol, which is scheduled in Poland during December 112 2008. The conference is being held amidst the fear that the global financial crisis might force the developed world to cut resource allocation climate change mitigation effort.

We may not be able to get the kind of financial resources commitments required from the developed countries towards climate change mitigation and adaptation given the acute financial crisis, Shyam Saram Prime Ministers special envoy on climate change had said recently.

He said the attention given to climate change issues might be given lower priority as the whole attention is focused towards reviving the financial system in the developed countries.

The Poznan meet is expected to come out a blue print or a vision document for a long term and mid term goal for stabilization of green house gas emission and measures necessary for emission reductions by the Annex I countries or developed nations.

While the actual data on the present Indias greenhouse emissions is yet to be compiled, the data goes back to 1994. In 1994, per capita emissions were just 0.87 tonnes per person per year, which according to an estimate has increased to 1.1 tonne per person till now which still very low compared to developed countries. The US emits roughly 20 tonne green house gas per person compared to 4 tonnes by China.

Although under Kyoto Protocol, India does not have a legal or binding obligation to reduce carbon emission.