India needs to "tell its story" about its efforts to address the issue of climate change, a top UN climate official said today while terming the country as an "important partner" in tackling the global problem. Stressing the need for engaging in a "deeper" dialogue, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa said with population growth, there will be growth in emission levels in India and one needs to go beyond conversations related to which contributed how much to global emissions. Espinosa, who was on a two-day visit to India, her first after assuming the office of the executive secretary in the UN body, said she was very "encouraged" with the dialogue she had with the government here. Addressing climate change does not mean that a country gives up its developmental aspirations, she said. "Regarding India, I have been very encouraged by conversations that I had yesterday about the way the country is addressing the challenges of sustainable development, how it is addressing the agenda of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and climate change. "It is the right approach -- it is an approach which integrates the different areas of government and economy and that is absolutely necessary if we want to be successful," she said during an interaction with business leaders at FICCI here. She pointed out that one of the main reasons for her visit to India was to "highlight and give visibility" to what is already happening in India. "Out there, people do not know how much you are working on this subject. I believe this is very important. Especially if we consider, in the coming decades, the population will continue to grow, growth will be strong in countries like India and nations of the South and it is very natural that emissions will continue to grow. "It will take sometime until the peaking point (of emissions) is reached and we start having reductions in emission. We also need to get into a much deeper conversation and dialogue on how the process will evolve in countries like India. "We need to go beyond figures like how much is the participation of countries in global emissions.
We need to go beyond that. I want to encourage you to go out as much as possible and tell the story about how much effort India is putting in (to address the issue)," she said. She said another point which needs to be discussed is how much India will contribute to the scenario of the future. "India has some of the most densely populated cities of the world with faster rates of urbanisation. That means the policy which cities take will become examples to follow and also other cities will learn from mistakes which, maybe, has happened here. In India there are strong commitments at the level of cities," she said. Espinosa had met Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave and expressed interest in "engaging" with Indian institutions working in the field of climate change. She said it would be "no exaggeration" to say that people around the world are looking towards India which is a "very important partner" and efforts made here will be valuable knowledge for many countries around the world. She said to address the climate change agenda, there is a need to do it in a "comprehensive and integrated" way with sustainable development. She said there is a need to overcome the view that climate change has to do with scientist and understand that it is an agenda which has to do with the well-being of people. Referring to her conversations with private investors and others, she said the latter had conveyed to her that there is a need to have more bankable projects. "The resources are there but projects are not always there. I have asked counterparts in governments to provide us with assessment needs and I want to do the same with you (India) so that we can identify possible partners for you (in the field of) technology, capacity building or financing," she said. Espinosa said that the UN has launched NAZCA climate portal to track voluntary initiatives, coalitions and initiatives from the private sector and non-state actors to support governments in implementing their INDCs (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) and simultaneously help in delivering the SDGs.
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