Flow of climate finance to developing nations remains a ‘mirage’: Bhupender Yadav | Latest News India

Union environment minister Bhupender Yadav on Wednesday said the flow of climate finance to developing countries continued to be a “mirage” as developed nations have not delivered on their promise. In his address at the G20 environmental and climate ministerial meeting in Indonesia’s Bali, he said development finance was being clubbed with climate finance pushing poor and vulnerable countries further into debt.

Yadav cited his travels to African and developed countries and said the poorest nations and most vulnerable communities, which have contributed the least to the climate crisis, are bearing its maximum impact. He added they lack the technology, capacity, and finance to significantly alter the status quo. “…an added problem is the clubbing of development finance with climate finance.”

Yadav said 70% of public climate finance was given out as loans instead of grants in 2019. “In 2019-20, only 6% of climate finance was in grants. This is pushing developing countries into more debt. Developing countries face an estimated gap of USD 1 trillion in Covid-19 spending…”

He said India has not been a traditional contributor to global emissions, but was showing the intent in actions to be a problem solver. “India has made remarkable progress in recent years in electrifying all households and rapidly increasing access to clean cooking energy. It is also one of the world’s largest markets for the deployment of renewable energy. India’s National Green Hydrogen Mission promises to be a game-changer for reducing emissions from hard-to-abate sectors. All these efforts need investment at lower costs and innovative models for scaling up climate finance to double 2019 levels by 2025. New approaches are also needed to develop and deploy low-carbon technologies,” he said.

India updated its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to fight climate change on August 26, confirming to the United Nations apex body that it will reduce the emissions intensity of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 45% from 2005 levels by the year 2030. It has pledged to source about 50% of its energy requirement from non-fossil fuel-based sources.

Yadav called for first recognizing the need for aligning development and environment conservation rather than treating them as exclusive of each other to effectively combat climate change globally. “Secondly, we must decouple economic growth from greenhouse gas emissions, while considering national circumstances and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities,” Yadav said.

India initiated the Lifestyle for the Environment (LiFE Movement) at COP26 in Glasgow. India’s enhanced NDC under the Paris Agreement includes LiFE seeking to propagate healthy and sustainable lifestyles based on traditions and the values ​​of conservation, moderation, and climate justice, and to protect the poor and the vulnerable from the adverse impacts of climate change.

Yadav said economies at large must inculcate resource efficiency and circularity, while considering national circumstances and capabilities, to achieve environmental, climate, and development paradigms. “…the primary responsibility for the transition towards net-zero emissions rests with those who have historically accounted for most of accumulated greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere,” Yadav said.

Yadav said India has progressively reduced and rationalized subsidies, through the elimination of major transport fuel subsidies, and better targeting, such as through providing subsidies on renewable sources of energy and concessional tax rates.


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