Concept of differentiation is cardinal to UNFCCC mandate, says Javadekar

Prakash Javadekar’s Statement at the Informal Ministerial Consultations at Paris

India’s minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar made a statement at the Informal Ministerial Consultations at Paris and said that we should not go back to Pre-1992 days with no differentiation as the concept of differentiation is cardinal to UNFCCC mandate. Hence there shouldn’t be any attempts to dilute differentiation. Rather it should be reflected across all elements of the new agreement. The annexes are an important part and basic structure of differentiation and as such we should not play with the basic concepts and the pillars on which UNFCCC edifice of climate action is based. Agenda 21 has clearly stated that developed countries accepted responsibility for finance and technology support. So he strongly felt that developed countries should not now back out and change the very edifice on which all the talks and discussions have centered for the last few decades.

He also pointed out that “even Montreal Protocol has the concept of incremental cost. The UNEP and IPCC reports point to the emission gaps. By diluting differentiation, the world will be destroying the principle of Additionality, UNFCCC, Agenda 21 and it will impact Biodiversity agreement, global environment facility and many other international treaties. The provision of additionality of finance very clearly states that it is over and above normal business channels and it is over and above ODA.”

India’s environment minister took a stand that countries are aware about climate change and taking action voluntarily and hence should be appreciated. He said, “We must therefore, welcome that all countries are taking action and we should limit Paris to that.”

Shri Javadekar pointed out that the present per capita emissions and cumulative per capita emissions upto 2012 are extremely important indicators.

He pointed out that India is in a unique position, the Minister said that India despite being a major economy and despite being on a development path is a poor country. “We have 17% of the world’s population, 17 % of the cattle population. Both require land, water and food. We have only 2.5% of the world’s landmass and we have only 4 % of water and therefore, we have challenges. But we are addressing them in our own way, and successfully.

On every parameter, we are a developing country, and poverty eradication is our main challenge and we are committed to deliver on that in a short span of time. Poverty eradication is our main aim. We have 50 percent rural households, i.e 90 million houses are not ‘pucca’ houses but ‘kutcha’ houses. 90 million households are deprived, as they are lacking in one of the basic development indicators. 90 million households depend on manual casual labour. 130 million families have a main earning member who earns less than 3 dollars a day. 60 million households have no toilets. 300 million people don't have access to power. 80 percent people do not have motorized vehicles. 90 percent people don't have refrigeration.”

Shri Prakash Javadekar said that despite this, India under Narendra Modi Government is doing a laudable job and is taking its own climate action with conviction “on our own volition, with our own resources”.

He once again reminded that India is taking great steps towards renewable energy. “We are walking energy efficiency path aggressively and we will reduce our emission intensity. But that is what India is doing on its own. Developed countries need to do it vigorously.”

Shri Javadekar further said “We have launched world’s one of the largest renewable energy programmes of 175 GW, and it is essentially a pre-2020 action. We have given weightage to afforestation at 8.5% for the first time, and 9 billion dollars are reserved for that in the 14th finance commission and 6 billion dollars will be unlocked through Compensatory Afforestation Fund bill for afforestation. We have launched a scheme of urban forestry, school nursery, afforestation on banks of Ganga, PPP for afforestation on degraded land, and National Highway Authority of India has also decided to green the sides of 90,000 km of highways. India has launched the clean Air Quality Index and is monitoring highly polluting industries on 24/7 basis. Clean Water is our priority and Ganga and other rivers' cleaning is a major initiative. For promoting Clean energy, we are giving subsidy for electrical vehicles. We have brought in a law for e-rickshaws. We are practicing clean coal. We have quadrupled the coal cess. The waste management rules have been revamped which will take care of Methane and it will be managed properly. The smart cities building code, affordable housing, railways with solar tops and giving up LPG subsidy are new initiatives”.