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Nationally Determined Contributions Should Not Necessarily Encompass All Sectors Or Gases: India At Bonn Climate Meet

At meet, India emphasised the need to operationalise equity in the dialogue, address pre-2020 implementation gaps and tackle the disproportionate use of the global carbon budget by a minority of nations

NDCs Should Not Necessarily Encompass All Sectors Or Gases: India At Bonn Climate Meet
NDCs are national plans aimed at limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius

New Delhi: Nationally Determined Contributions should not necessarily include all sectors or gases, India said at the ongoing Bonn climate conference, opposing a call by some developed countries, notably the US, for comprehensive, economy-wide NDCs aligned with the 1.5-degree Celsius target. NDCs are national plans aimed at limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. India also voiced skepticism regarding the existing models and scenarios used in climate science.

Referring to the IPCC scenarios on global mitigation pathways, it said,

The models and scenarios currently in the scientific literature have not received the close scrutiny necessary to determine whether developing countries’ needs, rights and aspirations are anywhere close to being met by their projections. These models provide pathways that are based on constraining energy consumption and income growth in developing countries, and project a future for us that we do not want

During the third and final meeting of the first technical dialogue of the first global stocktake (GST), a two-year UN review to assess the collective progress towards achieving the purpose of the Paris Agreement, India emphasised the need to operationalise equity in the dialogue, address pre-2020 implementation gaps and tackle the disproportionate use of the global carbon budget by a minority of nations, pointing out that such practices impose severe constraints and costs on low-carbon development in developing countries.

Led by two bodies within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI), the Bonn climate conference serves as a precursor to the 28th UN Conference of Parties (COP28) to be held in Dubai later this year.

During the GST meeting, developing nations, represented by the G77 and China, emphasised the importance of assessing implementation gaps and challenges, including those related to the pre-2020 timeframe and historical responsibilities of developed countries for emissions since the pre-industrial era. They called for an equitable sharing of the carbon budget to limit temperature rise.

If some countries use more than their fair share of the carbon budget, it means they are disproportionately responsible for damages caused by global warming and also that other countries must effectively forgo the full use of their own fair share to keep the world on track for 1.5 degrees Celsius, mitigating more rapidly than would otherwise be required.

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Climate science defines carbon budget as the amount of greenhouse gases that can be emitted for a given level of global warming (1.5 degrees Celsius in this case).

India said it shares the concerns raised by others regarding the,

Lack of operationalising equity in our dialogue so far, on pre-2020 gaps, the depletion of the global carbon budget due to disproportionate use by a minority, and the severe constraints and costs that this imposes on low-carbon development in developing countries

It said that it would not support any prescriptive messages from the GST on what the content of NDCs should be. It said,

Parties under PA retain the sovereign right to determine their climate targets in pursuit of their goals, and reflect them in their NDCs. In this context, we do not support that NDCs necessarily should be economy-wide, comprising all sectors or gases. Those that would like to frame their NDCs in this manner voluntarily have our full support

The United States rejected calls for the assessment of the pre-2020 period and equitable access to sustainable development, stating that the GST is an assessment of the Paris Agreement and not the convention itself.

Filling the gaps identified through the technical assessment is not solely up to developed countries, it said, adding the next round of NDCs should be comprehensive, encompassing all sectors and trajectories, in line with the 1.5 degrees Celsius target.

On equity, the US said that it is reflected in the Paris Agreement and that there is no “singular” definition as there are “multiple dimensions” of equity.

The European Union stressed the need for immediate, deep and rapid reductions to keep warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius and said that for transforming economies, making financial flows consistent with the Paris Agreement is key.

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South Africa, speaking for Brazil, South Africa, India, China (BASIC), said their central concern is that no space has been provided for an in-depth technical discussion and information gathering on pre-2020 issues, which is “unacceptable when we are undertaking a stock-taking exercise”.

Securing a definitive account of the pre-2020 period is a critical part of the GST, as it will allow us to assess its achievements, progresses and gaps, with a view to providing the equity basis towards achieving the long-term global goals of the UNFCCC and its Paris Agreement.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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