New Delhi: Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar today hoped that the upcoming Budget will give a clear indication as to how India would "walk the talk" on climate issues while negotiating a deal on emission cuts in Paris later this year.
Saying that India is already taking actions to address climate change, the minister asked the developed nations to fulfil their commitment towards operationalising the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and providing clean technology at an affordable cost.
The UNFCCC meet on climate change is to be held in Paris in December this year for finalising a new climate deal on emission cuts.
"I hope the Budget will give a clear indication on how we want to walk the talk. And, therefore, clean energy, clean water, clean air and many other initiatives of the Narendra Modi-government will get reflected in the Budget," Javadekar said.
On the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), to be submitted by India and other nations for negotiating the climate deal, the minister said, "We have already started our action. It is not intended. It is already implemented. So, the INDCs to be presented will be some of the implemented ones."
Already, eight missions -- on solar energy, enhanced energy efficiency, sustainable habitat, water, sustaining the Himalayan ecosystem, green India, sustainable agriculture and strategic knowledge for climate change -- are working and there would be new initiatives, he said.
"So all put together, we are mapping what can be the best INDCs... there will be a complete synthesis between the country's declared intentions and its action," the minister said addressing a conference organised by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW).
Urging the developed word to "walk the talk" on the issue of climate change, Javadekar said, "They must come up with real contributions to the Green Climate Fund. If they provide, the developing world can take more action. That is our demand."
Speaking on the same issue at a Ficci event, Environment Secretary Ashok Lavasa said, "As far as India is concerned, we are already working towards finalising INDCs in consultation with the state governments."
The state governments have their own state action plans on climate change. "To an extent, the state action plans can
be transformed into INDCs," he said. INDCs will become operative from 2020 but nations should not miss taking actions right now, he said, adding that India is calibrating its approach to meet the twin objective of development and environment protection.
The German minister said that there should be an opportunity to adapt as well which includes expanding renewables and enhancing energy efficiency. "How exactly will the funds from the green climate fund be used, that's too early to say and that's upto the board to decide. India and Germany are both members of the board and we both agree that we will cooperate closely on the board," the Minister said.
Javadekar meanwhile said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Germany in April and there are many other events throughout the year which were lined up. "We will actively cooperate. We want that the Paris arrangment is a successful outcome of 2015 so that world goes and achieves the targets it wants for the future generation," he said.
Asked whether India should also contribute to GCF, the German minister said the old differentiation between industrialised countries and emerging economies does not work any longer and each country should contribute as per its capacity.
"Things have to move on. We have to continue. That's not applicable to just India but other countries as well. The old division and differentiation between industrialised countries, emerging economies, developing countries no longer works.
The German minister said that her country was not concerned with India's increased use of coal for generating energy, and said India needs to base it energy supply on as many pillars as possible. "For growth, you will need energy production from coal. But I would like to point out in that context that scientists of IPCC have said that it's useful to combine coal use with Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). That might be a good option for India as well because if you use coal in that way, it's not that climate damaging," she said.
She said that Germany is already supporting India in a big way and there are a number of projects which are funded under the international climate initiatives. "Germany is one of the largest donors in India and I think I can say that even after US President Barack Obama's visit to your country," she said.
To a question, she said that nuclear energy is the more expensive form of energy than other forms because there is the issue of nuclear waste management, an issue which no country has solved so far.
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