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Statement of Shri Prakash Javadekar, Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change delivered at the High Level Segment of UNFCCC COP-20 at Lima

Statement of Shri Prakash Javadekar, Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change delivered at the High Level Segment of UNFCCC COP-20 at Lima

Delhi 

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Mr. President,
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am delighted to be in this historic and beautiful city of Lima.

Let me first of all express my heartfelt thanks to the Government and people of Peru and in particular the city of Lima for their warmth and gracious hospitality.

On the occasion of the Gender Day today, I salute the women of the world who play such a central role in preserving nature.

Mr. President, COP-20 in Lima I believe is the COP of Hope.

As Ministers, we have brought the positive expectations of our people to this meeting and we hope to achieve a positive outcome which will set us on the path to an ambitious, comprehensive and equitable agreement at Paris next year.

Mr. President, The new Government in India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi represents the hopes and aspirations of more than a billion Indian people for growth and inclusive development. We are pursuing action-oriented policies to bring rapid development to our people while purposefully addressing climate change.

We have shown that we have the vision and the political will to act.

Among the several measures we have taken to address climate change, I would highlight just a few:
? We have doubled the Clean Energy Cess on coal, which very few countries have, and the Clean Energy Fund already has over 3 billion US dollars to be used for promoting clean technologies

? Our National Solar Mission is being scaled up five-fold from 20,000 megawatts to 100,000 megawatts. This will mean an additional investment of 100 billion dollars and savings of about 165 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

? We are releasing 6 billion US dollars in one go for intensive afforestation which will result in more carbon sinks.

? We have allocated about 200 million US dollars for the National Adaptation Fund, setting-up of Ultra Mega Solar Projects, Ultra-Modern Super Critical Coal Based Thermal Power Technology, and the development of Solar Parks on canals.

? Yet another initiative of the Indian Prime Minister is 100 Smart Cities with integrated policies for adaptation and mitigation to reduce the vulnerability and exposure of urban areas to climate change and also to improve their energy efficiency for which 1.2 billion US dollars have been allocated.

? We have put in place stringent norms for cement industry. Our Action Plan for cleaning one of the longest rivers in the world, River Ganga will bring multiple benefits of pollution reduction and climate adaptation. We have also taken initiatives for protecting coastal, Himalayan, and forest areas.

? We have initiated preparations to develop a National Air Quality Index and have launched a National Air Quality Scheme.

Mr. President,
While there is often a talk about changed reality, 1 in every 7 persons in the world today still lives in abject poverty. The number of poor people in the world is more than twice the combined population of Europe. All of them are in developing countries.

We are determined to ensure development to all these people and provide them with basic services of energy, water, sanitation, healthcare, education and employment.

We in India are committed to protecting the interests of the poor. We did in it WTO for ensuring food security of our people.

The success of Indias endeavors in all these issues will also be critical for the success of the global efforts for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

India is also at the frontlines of facing the impacts of climate change. Shifting rainfall patterns, recurring floods, stronger cyclones and droughts or soil erosion are exacerbating the challenge of poverty eradication and necessitate the allocation of scarce national resources for preventing loss of human life.

Despite our serious resource constraints, we are undertaking ambitious actions to undertake adaptation and mitigation actions, including through lowering of the energy intensity of our economic growth, increasing energy efficiency across sectors and making greater use of renewables.

Mr. President,
There are practical examples of how in the past we have managed to secure successful global cooperation to solve global problems.

Joint collaborative research without IPR price-tag ensured Green Revolution through hybrids, helped in making available drugs against HIV/AIDS and for finding God Particle.

Why cant this spirit of joint collaboration be summoned to address climate change? Why do we want to profit from disasters?
Mr. President,
We hope to put in place in Lima, the stepping stones towards a post-2020 agreement under the Convention that is comprehensive, balanced, equitable and pragmatic.

It should be able to address the genuine requirements of the developing countries by providing them equitable carbon space to achieve sustainable development and eradicate poverty.

The new agreement is under the Convention. Let us be clear, it is the 2nd commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol that is ending in 2020, not the Convention.

Adherence to the principles and provisions of the Convention is the key.

As Indias Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in the UN General Assembly in September this year, we should be honest in shouldering our responsibilities in meeting the challenges. The beautiful balance of collective action the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities - should form the basis of continued action.

It is equally evident that developing countries could do more if finance, technology support and capacity building is ensured. This must be a key focus of the new agreement.

Mr. President,
Our ambition in the post-2020 period is directly linked with ambitious actions in the pre-2020 period by the developed countries, otherwise the poor people in developing countries will not get the carbon space to achieve sustainable development.

If we believe that the global warming threat is real, then we must deliver on the agreed commitments as a matter of priority.

It is important therefore for developed country parties to urgently fulfill their legal obligations in the pre-2020 period. They must scale up their mitigation ambition now and urgently fulfill their promises for providing financial and technological support to developing countries.

Some announcements have been made by some countries to contribute to the Green Climate Fund. However, the scale of these announcements remains far from what has been pledged.

Mr. President,
We firmly believe that the INDCs are to be nationally determined. We do not see any role for any ex-ante review in this process.

The INDCs should include all elements including mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology and capacity building.

Adaptation is a central and critical priority for developing countries to address Climate Change. The new post-2020 agreement should ensure a balance between mitigation and adaptation. The urgent need for adaptation must be fully reflected in the new agreement.

Mr. President,
India is committed and ready to play its part in the global fight against climate change. We look forward to successful conclusion to the Lima COP. In fact, we hope that this COP will prove to be an exception to the rule and finish its work before on Friday 12th December itself!
I thank you.

CP/GV

First Published: Wed, December 10 2014. 12:20 IST