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Warsaw Climate Meet to focus on emissions (Nov)

 
The Times of India , Monday, November 11, 2013
 
WARSAW: As representatives of some 190 countries gather at the National Stadium in Warsaw for the annual UN-sponsored climate change negotiations, the focus will be on ways to reduce emission of greenhouse gases in the period up to 2020, ahead of the new global regime to tackle global warming.
 
The fortnight-long meet starting on Monday comes in the aftermath of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's first report that said scientists are more sure now than ever before that climate change is overwhelmingly a human-induced problem.
 
Its call for urgent action to ensure that emissions are within acceptable limits to ensure that global temperature rise is restricted to 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels will have countries look at ways to reduce emissions quickly. This would mean a push for phasing out of refrigerants like hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), reducing emissions from agriculture, greater focus on the use of renewables as a source of energy, and more concerted effort to ensure energy efficiency.
 
India has made it clear that industrialised countries need to be proactive and reduce their emissions to ensure that the world doesn't hurtle along the path of dangerous climate change.
 
The phasing out of HFCs, which is used as cooling gases in refrigerators and air-conditioners, and the reduction of emissions from agriculture would mean greater efforts by developing countries. This, New Delhi argues, would run counter to the historical responsibility as the basis for global climate efforts, which acknowledges that industrialised countries are responsible for most of the global warming. Discussions in Warsaw are likely to pit developing countries - particularly advanced developing countries like India, China - against industrialised countries. At the same time, India and China can expect a fair bit of pressure from vulnerable developing countries and the small island states, which have been demanding that more concrete action be taken.
 
India - as part of the BASIC quartet of Brazil, South Africa, India and China - has already demanded that more proactive efforts to deal with climate change cannot be limited to merely reducing emissions. New Delhi argues that "ambition" for greater action must be seen in the provision of funding for developing countries to counter and check climate change, technology sharing as well as in efforts to help countries adapt to climate change.
 
BASIC countries, at their last meeting in Shanghai, had made it clear that they will press for greater financial and technological commitment from developed countries at the Warsaw summit.
 
The industrialised countries have yet to come forward with a plan for providing climate finance to developing countries in the period up to 2020, after which these countries have pledged $100 billion a year.
 
In the period between 2010 and 2012, the industrialised countries provided $30 billion as fast start finance. However, there has been a great deal of concern over the fact that most of this funding was re-classified as overseas development assistance.
 
Differences also persist on the role of the private sector in providing climate finance. India has made it clear that public funding must remain the mainstay for climate finance.