Delhi Climate Ministerial adopts India's 'proposal'

Written by ASHOK B SHARMA | New Delhi | Updated: Oct 25 2009, 19:32pm hrs
The high level global conference on climate change and technology development and transfer which concluded in Delhi on Friday has warmed up the sentiments for the upcoming crucial climate conference at Copenhagen. This may become more fine-tuned and focused when the environment ministers meet in Barcelona about two weeks later.

The agenda for the Delhi conference carefully avoided discussions on the contentious issue of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission cut and focused primarily on the need for green technology development and transfer and adequate fund flow to the developing world.

It was a success for the host country, India to the extent its proposal for setting up an international network of Climate Innovation Centres (CICs) was adopted by the conference. Other gains for India were the signing of cooperation with China for work on climate change and a Memorandum of Understanding with Norway on clean development mechanism (CDM) projects.

Delhi conference had participation from 58 delegations from different countries, of which 30 were at the ministerial or vice ministerial levels. There were participation by about 30 experts and 148 corporate houses.

Denmarks climate and Energy Minister, Ms Connie Hedegaard claimed the success of the Delhi conference by saying it has provided a technology pack for the Copenhagen conference. She said the UNFCCCs crucial 15th conference of parties (CoP-15) to be hosted by her country in Copenhagen six weeks later would hopefully arrive at an ambitious green technology deal for mitigation and adaptation. There is also a need to include the building blocs from the Bali Declaration, she said.

Delhi summit was a follow up of the Beijing summit on technology development and transfer held in November, 2008.

Hedegaard emphasized the need for deploying existing green technologies and upscaling technological cooperation. As development of new green technologies would provide jobs to millions of people, research and development need to be strengthened, a new technology body for capacity building needs to be set up at the global level and a roadmap should be drawn for guidance for technology action.

On financing of climate projects, she said : hopefully we may get some headway when the heads of European states meet next week to discuss this issue. The US and Japan also need to come forward. The G-20 meeting is also scheduled on November 6, this year. Funds from both public and private sectors are needed. Already CDM is generating fund flows to some developing countries.

Hedegaard noted that the US administration was seriously engaging its attention on climate issues. Many countries including developing nations are coming out with action plans on climate change. A binding deal can be reached in Copenhagen with a political will and by changing controversy into compromise, she said.

The valedictory session of the Delhi conference was also addressed by the UNCTAD Secretary General, Supachai Panitchpakdi, UNDESA Under Secretary General, Sha Zukang and the IPCC chair, RK Pachauri who appealed for the urgent need for a binding deal in Copenhagen. Supachai called for a global structural change He said that climate goods and services cannot be left to private sector alone. The public sector has to play a crucial role. CDM, a promising asset, has remained under utilized. Zukang said that mitigation should not come at the cost of development. There was a need to subsidise renewable sources of energy, transfer of technology and capacity building, he said. Pachari said that technology developed in time can reduce emissions. Carbon capature and storage is needed to a level where it is commercially viable. Modern bio-energy should be implemented in developing countries. Existing technologies was needed for short-term solution, while the new ones for long-term solutions, he said.

The Delhi Statement on Global Cooperation on Climate Technology stressed the need for accelerating largescale global deployment of environmentally sound and climate technologies and to minimize the time lag between their initial development, transfer and deployment particularly in developing countries. It called for enhanced cooperation worldwide at all stages of the technology cycle. On financing of climate projects, the statement only recognized the roles of both public and private sectors in enabling accelerated largescale development, transfer and deployment of technologies for adaptation and mitigation.

The environment minister of Poland, Bernard Blaszczyk was the most eloquent in the context of his countrys generous commitment to provide its share of global financial and other resources to others to ensure that they work out a burden sharing formula based on emission as well as ability to pay so that this formula can continue to be used transparently and predictably in the future.

Some environment ministers said that the IPR regime was acting as a barrier to technology transfer and developed and urged for setting up of a mechanism for to oversee the problem. A mechanism should also be set up for periodic assessment of technology transfer and also a verification panel for technology. Several speakers alluded to the CGIAR network as a model for addressing the challenges of food and energy security. Some wanted a global Marshall Plan for renewable technology.

Maldives President, Mohamed Nasheed urged the developed world to drastically cut their GHG emissions so that by 2020 at the global level carbon emission can come down to 350 ppm from the current level of 387 ppm and the global temperature rise can stabilize around 1.5 degree C. He called upon the developing world to embrace renewable sources of energy. He called for a Green Technology Revolution on the lines of Green Revolution. He invited Indias cooperation in setting up of a solar energy plant in his country.

Afghanistans environment minister, Mohammed Mustafa Zahir said there was a global public pressure to save the planet from vagaries of climate change.

Chinas environment minister, Xie Zuhua urged for technology and fund transfer to the developing countries and removing obstables of IPR regime to technology transfer. Mauritius environment minister, Lormus Bundhoo also called for a Green Technology Revolution and replicating the success of Montreal Protocol for addressing problems of climate change. The environment minister of Nepal, Thakur B Sharma urged for technology transfer within a timeframe.

Environment minister of Norway, Erik Solheim urged for a Green Technology revolution on the lines Internet Revolution and green Revolution. He called for public-private partnership in carbon capture and storage. Developed nations should take the leading in financing climate projects. Singapore environment minister, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim in addition urged for market incentives for innovation.

UK environment minister, Lord Philip Hunt called for support for deploying existing technologies in developing countries and collaboration with developing countries for developing new technologies in developing countries. He however defended a strong IPR regime. Iraqs environment minister, Mrs Nermeen Othman Hassan urged the world to help her country from the vagaries of nature. Japans vice minister for global environment affairs, Kazuhiko Takemoto said his country was ready to give additional assistance

Kenya environment minister, Ramadhan Kajemba stressed the need for adaptation technology. Sudans permanent representative to UN, representing G-77 suggested the need for a technology pool at the global level to solve the problems of technology transfer.