Nations from around the world have been submitting their plans to help reduce carbon emissions and tackle climate change. The plans will form the centerpiece of negotiations that are to be held in Paris later this year.
There seems to be a looming battle on the horizon at the UN after 148 out of 196 nations handed in their climate change plans. The main point of contention seems to be money with India claiming that it will need $2.5 trillion in order to stay on track with the targets in its plan. The Philippines also stated that they would need significant contributions in order to make any progress towards their submission.
The plans are referred to as INDCs which stands for Intended Nationally Determined Contribution. The combined total of these INDCs is equal to about 90% of the carbon dioxide emissions around the world. These submissions will form the central piece of a new worldwide pact on climate change that nations hope to deliver in France at the end of the year.
Plans Set To Reduce Climate Change
Analysts from the group Climate Action Tracker stated that these plans would result in a total world temperature change of around 2.7 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Whilst this still remains above the target of 2 degrees Celsius (that is accepted the safe threshold) it is still a huge improvement on the 3.1 degrees increase that was initially predicted.
India has received a lot of praise from around the world for its contribution. It promises to reduce the intensity of its carbon emissions although it did not go as far as to put an outright cap on them.
Former UK environment minister, Richard Benyon MP, said “It’s highly significant that India is joining the ranks of so many other developed and developing countries in putting serious commitments on the table ahead of the Paris climate talks.”
However there are many environmentalists that are still unhappy with the India’s INDC.
Pujarini Sen from Indian Greenpeace said:
“We’re especially disappointed to not see a concrete renewable target,”
“They are talking about 40% of electric power coming from non-fossil sources by 2030. This is not 40% renewable energy, it includes nukes, and it includes large dams.”
Tackling Climate Change Will Cost “Trillions
The Indian environmental minister Prakash Javadekar said that the world was underestimating the overall cost of these plans.
“I am telling the world that the bill for climate action for the world is not just $100bn, it is in trillions of dollars per year,” said Prakash Javadekar.
“Countries will take up their own responsibility but the world which is historically responsible for carbon emissions, what we are suffering today, the climate change, they must at least walk the talk on $100bn.”
Many commentators believe that the financial aspect is the most complex and potentially contentious point in these negotiations.
Liz Gallagher from the environmental think-tank, E3G, said:
“The thing that what has the least clarity in this process is the finance issue,”
“They are kind of using the INDCs to really deliver that message. It’s a big prod to the developed countries to wake up because they haven’t sorted this yet.”
The Philippines have been one of the most explicit countries when it comes to calling for compensation from the most developed countries around the world. In their submission they stated:
“The Philippine INDC assumes that loss and damages from climate change and extreme events will not require diversion of substantial resources for rehabilitation and reconstruction thereby adversely affecting the country’s capacity to meet national development targets.”
Climate Change Negotiations Will Happen In Paris
The financial issue is likely to be central to the negotiations in Paris later this year.
“There are some legal red lines for many countries, including the US, around the form of compensation and what that would mean,” said Liz Gallagher.
“But as a rational and a political choice, loss and damage has to be at the heart of the agreement and that is going to be an important challenge.”