The world’s largest environmental congregation, far more dramatic and intriguing than Indian daily sops and T-20 cricket matches, begins in Lima. The momentum for change to mitigate climate emergency which was lost in Copenhagen is back on track. Fingers are crossed for “some agreement with spine” to emerge from Paris next year. Lima will prepare a roadmap for the agreement focusing on reduction of carbon emissions & necessary mobilization of resources.
In the coming days, at plenary sessions and working groups in COP 20 (Conference of Parties), Lima, countries named as “Parties” shall be having cat fights in diplomatic language, civil society screaming for stronger actions, business houses trying to find opportunities in emerging green economy and at times pressurizing the sugar daddy parties to voice their concerns.
The demand of civil society networks is to have a strong science based agreement in Paris. Still, expectations are kept low. If not science based agreement, let there be a stronger review based mechanism in place, assessing compliance against the identified scientific and equitable targets of carbon emission reduction. For the same to happen, enough resources “money” needs to be mobilized. Green Climate Fund (GCF) was created for that purpose. Coffers of GCF are not yet full. US- China deal and commitment of funds for fighting climate change by US is now playing the role of game changer. US pledge of 3 billion is exerting pressure on the left developed countries like Iceland, Australia and Belgium amongst the others. More will come out on climate finance soon. The target is to mobilize 100 Billion Dollars by 2020. There is a probability that here in Lime a timeline for it will be prepared. It is indeed important that these funds (donations) should from public sources with no strings or earmarking attached.
For the new government in India, the priorities may be different but Mr. Modi doesn’t want to lose out on his image in UN negotiations. A well prepared 17 member delegation is already arriving in bits and pieces. A lot of us are waiting for the Indian Pandora box to open, and are looking forward to announcements. For low carbon world we need more than loud and thundering narcissist statements like Vasudev Katumbakkam and greatness of ancient Indian eco-friendly culture. There is a probability that hints of “aspirational peaking of India’s green house gas emissions” be thrown in the conversation. A lot of homework for some such announcement on Republic day is being done.
Let’s keep fingers crossed, batting field ready for spins and bouncers, be prepared to score runs whenever there is an opportunity! And yes heads high with renewed hope. Amen.