Paris climate agreement non-negotiable, no compromise on basic principles: India

UN warns of global climate chaosKATOWICE (Poland): India Wednesday said the Paris climate agreement was “non-negotiable” and there could be no compromise on the basic principles such as equity and Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR RC).

“We all agree that the Paris Agreement is non-negotiable. Therefore, the delicate balance reached between developed and developing countries must be retained, and the principles such as equity and Common but Differentiated Responsibility and Respective Capabilities must be given its due,” India said at the ministerial session of the UN Climate Conference here.

It said the outcome at Katowice should be inclusive, consensus based and an integrated package, including all the components of the Paris Agreement Work Programme, to reflect the global consensus reached three years ago on this very day while adopting the Paris Agreement.

“Most importantly, we must stand with the poor, marginalised and vulnerable communities who would be most impacted by climate change to show that ‘WE CARE’,” India said in a statement.

It added that it was time we focussed on finding common grounds and supporting each other, based on the principles of equity and climate justice, so that “no one is left behind”.

“It is important to ensure equitable access to global commons for all. The Paris Agreement signifies progress towards enhanced implementation of the Convention. While we do so, we have to maintain continuity in action by fulfilling pre-2020 commitments.

“While we continue to take stock of pre-2020 action and ambition next year as well, we expect that developed countries shall honour their pre-2020 commitments so that no undue burden is shifted to the post-2020 period. We also look forward to see the Doha Amendment coming into force as soon as possible,” said the statement made on behalf of Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan.

The statement on behalf of Vardhan was made by A K Mehta, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, late Wednesday night.

The statement came amid a move by the developed countries, led by the US and the EU, to dilute CBDR-RC, a principle within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that acknowledges the different capabilities and differing responsibilities of individual countries in addressing climate change.

India and the other developing countries strongly resisted their move, citing the historical responsibility of the developed nations in emitting carbon dioxide, contributing to global warming.

India welcomed the recent IPCC Special Report, which says human activities are estimated to have caused approximately one degree celsius of global warming above the pre-industrial levels and is currently increasing at 0.2 degree celsius per decade.

“The vulnerable populations are the worst hit by extreme weather events due to a lack of resources to cope with them. The report enjoins upon us to collectively address the issues of climate change with the urgency that it deserves,” India said, days after the UN scientific report was blocked by countries, including the US, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Kuwait, at the ongoing climate conference here.

Earlier, India, along with three other nations, had said the UN scientific report should be taken into account in the climate negotiations.

The BASIC group of nations comprising Brazil, South Africa, India and China had made its stand clear on the UN report on limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above the pre-industrial levels at a joint-press conference held on the sidelines of the UN climate talks here. PTI

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