Environment minister Prakash Javadekar.
NEW DELHI: A day after G7 members reaffirmed their commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change, India on Monday reminded rich nations of their responsibilities citing their historical emissions and said they still owe $1.1 trillion to developing countries as per what was promised 11 years ago.
“As part of the Paris Agreement rich countries promised to provide US $100 billion a year to help developing nations combat climate change. But for the last 11 years practically nothing has come,” said environment minister Prakash Javadekar.
Speaking at a webinar on ‘revival, regeneration and conservation of nature’, organised by FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO), he said, “India's cumulative contribution to climate change (in terms of emission) in the last 200 years is just 3%. The unbridled carbon emissions particularly by Europe, US and in the last 40 years by China, caused climate change disaster.
“These countries prospered economically but polluted the world. India is one of the suffering countries with the least contribution to climate change,” the minister said.
Referring to the discussion on climate finance at the G7 summit which concluded on Sunday, Javadekar said the rich nations discussed it seriously because they know that the subject cannot be put off further.
His remarks assume significance in view of the concerns of developing countries as to how the lack of finance has become a major hindrance to their decarbonisation efforts as switching over to low carbon economic growth path has a cost.
The G7 countries – US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Italy and Japan – on Sunday once again reaffirmed the collective goal to jointly mobilise $100 billion per year from “public and private sources” in the context of meaningful mitigation actions.
Besides promising to accelerate efforts to achieve ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as soon as possible and by 2050 at the latest, they also reaffirmed their existing commitment to eliminating inefficient fossil fuel subsidies by 2025.
As part of a fresh move towards decarbonisation, they decided to end “new direct government support” for unabated international thermal coal power generation by the end of 2021 with Canada, Germany, the UK, and the US agreeing to back a $2 billion fund to accelerate the coal transition and support ‘just transition’ for affected workers and sectors.
Though green activists expressed their disappointment over the issue of climate finance saying the rich countries cannot simply reiterate existing obligations but must put substantial new and additional finance on the table, they appreciated the G7 members’ decision to end the public financing of coal by the end of this year.
“The deal leaves China isolated as the world's biggest public backer of the dirtiest fossil fuel,” said Tasneem Essop, executive director, Climate Action International.