Inter-ministerial groups to fine-tune India’s climate change stance


NEW DELHI: In a consolidation of the Durban results, the environment and forests ministry has notified inter-ministerial groups that will advise on key elements of India’s stance on climate negotiations for future.

The groups, with officials from various ministries including power and renewable energy, will advise and guide the negotiating team through issues which are to be taken up through the year and at the full meeting of all countries in Qatar.

The groups have been formed on three critical areas – on actions that reduce climate change, the carbon trade mechanism, reporting processes and scrutiny of country’s actions, equity and climate change modeling.

The groups are empowered to also seek advice from experts outside the government that deal with specific technical issues.

The formation of the groups also indicates clarity within the government on the steps to take in the days to come and reduction of the debate within about taking a more ‘flexible’ approach versus sticking to some fundamental redlines.

The setting up of the groups has revived the old system of inter-governmental consultations as the climate change negotiations have wide and varied impacts on the country’s economies which fall under different ministries’ domains. The practice of such consultations had fallen through previously but is seen as important within government circles keeping in mind the negotiations to be started on what is called the Durban Platform.

The platform is another track of talks (besides the Kyoto Protocol and another track that ends this year) within the UN framework to set up a global climate regime post-2020. The discussions for it are to kick-start this year and culminate by 2015.

India is required, along with all other countries, to suggest the frame within which it feels discussions should be held on this track. This submission is expected to be critical with EU pushing for equal responsibility for reducing emissions being imposed on emerging economies like India and China. India along with other BASIC countries has already announced that it wants the new track to respect the principles of equity and ‘common but differentiated responsibility’ and not operate outside the existing UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.


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