Which is the Paris of India
Shape the Paris Agreement as an opportunity for India
The Paris Agreement still has gaps in terms of interpretation and formulation. Countries that are now involved quickly have a particularly good chance of benefiting from the implementation of the agreement. This can also not only be difficult for emerging countries like India, it also harbors opportunities.
Germanwatch cites excerpts from an article published in the Huffington Post by Siddharth Pathak, who works in New Delhi for the Climate Action Network International.
[...] The Paris Agreement captures current political intentions and opens up the necessary opportunities [for additional efforts] in the future. The successful and effective implementation of the agreement is now dependent on two key factors: on the one hand, that the will to protect the climate remains intact among the political leadership in key states. On the other hand, it is necessary to win the argument about the interpretation of the agreement and the design of the details. [...]
Unlike other agreements in the past, the Paris Agreement will not dictate actions to governments, but will serve as a guideline for them to combat climate change. [...]
In order to make the agreement successful with regard to its goal of lowering the hitherto rising CO2 emissions and limiting the rise in global temperatures, all governments would have to take climate policy seriously and thus - regardless of the political leadership of a country - the transformation process in the direction of an almost CO2-emission-free economy.
For India, this means that we can no longer just tackle climate change bit by bit. Our politics must be shaped more by the imperative to act than just by responses to international political agreements, as has mostly been the case up to now.
Above all, India is further developing its renewable energies, but we have to include other areas such as transport and urbanization at the same time and with a long-term planning horizon. If we want to make the most of the Paris Agreement, we have to find a way to make India attractive to foreign and domestic investors, innovators and companies who want to work in this area. We need long-term plans that create planning security for the desired development path. There are already those for sustainable power generation with the ambitious target of 175 GW [renewable energies]. Similar objectives are now also needed in other areas such as adaptation to climate change and, with regard to global warming, more resilient infrastructure, especially in view of the most recent disasters such as the floods in Chennai.
As mentioned earlier, the Paris Agreement is a legal document that provides a framework and direction. The details of many provisions, as well as the interpretation of some terms such as “justice”, have yet to be negotiated over the next five years before the 2020 treaty comes into force.
It is extremely important that the Indian government act quickly now. The faster we plan the long-term direction of economic and social development, the easier it will be for us to design and use the details of the agreement to our advantage. For example, in the case of “justice”, the agreement leaves a lot of room for interpretation and lacks clear rules on how “justice” can be assessed between countries when progress is to be assessed or responsibility for action is to be shared.
In order to be able to enforce the Indian view of the agreement in the struggle for interpretation, the Indian government must act quickly and innovatively and develop ideas and concepts on the subject of justice. The government must break away from its traditional approach to the issue and adapt it to the framework conditions laid down in the agreement.
There are many opportunities in the agreement that can be seized, such as the concept of a new market mechanism. India, as the second largest beneficiary of the “Clean Development Mechanism”, has so far barely managed to expand carbon markets. The government could take advantage of this opportunity by designing the existing market mechanisms such as "Perform, Achieve and Trade (PAT)" and the announced international solar alliance (International Agency for Solar Technologies and Application) so that they can be connected to the new one in the future Mechanism are.
The Paris Agreement is about opportunities. It is now up to the individual countries to use these opportunities to jointly fight climate change globally.
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