“Equity and climate justice are touchstones of any global climate response,” said the Union Minister of Environment, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India Bhupender Yadav, at the National Conference on COP26 Charter of Actions in his Video Address.
He further added that, “Concerted actions are needed in terms of cooperation between all countries especially with developed countries taking a lead in climate action through mitigation, adaptation and providing support to developing countries in terms of climate finance, capacity building and technology transfer.”
The National Conference was organized by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), with support from the British High Commission, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, Tata Cleantech Capital Ltd. and Rockefeller Foundation.
By acting as a platform for the dissemination of the messages of the COP26 Charter of Actions, a knowledge document prepared by TERI, the conference facilitated dialogues and discussions around raising climate ambition at the national and global level.
The Charter of Actions prepared by TERI assimilates questions and challenges concerning key themes for India such as equity, green finance, adaptation & resilience, nature-based solutions, energy, clean transport, and business and industry.
Welcoming experts across the domain at the National Conference, Dr. Vibha Dhawan, Director General, TERI said, “Successful climate negotiations in COP26 will further our fight against climate change. We at TERI believe that steering discussions around COP is imperative.”
Delivering the opening address of the National Conference, Natalie Toms, Counsellor Economics and Prosperity, FCDO, British High Commission highlighted, “It was great to join TERI’s National Conference ahead of ahead of COP26, which will be a pivotal moment for the world to come together to accelerate action on climate; our last best chance to keep 1.5 degrees of global warming within reach. The UK and India are working together to tackle climate change under the UK-India Roadmap agreed by our Prime Ministers in May.”
This was followed by a soft launch of the COP26 Charter of Actions, after which Dr. Shailly Kedia, Associate Director, TERI gave a presentation on the key messages from the COP26 Charter of Actions. Expanding on the “aspects of India’s leadership” in her presentation, Dr. Kedia said, “India’s normative and entrepreneurial leadership is key to achieve the goals of climate stabilization.”
Subsequently, the National Conference saw an expert panel discussion on “Beyond Net-Zero: What Short and Long-term Strategies are needed for Realizing Twin Goals of Climate Stabilization and Equity?” which was chaired by Chandrashekhar Dasgupta, Former Climate Negotiator and Distinguished Fellow Emeritus, TERI. Speaking at the panel discussion, he said, “From a purely practical point of view, equity considerations apart, there can be no magical year in which every country, individually, whether it is one of the most affluent ones or a developing country can achieve net-zero in 2050.”
In his address, Srinivas Gotru, Joint Secretary, United Nations Economic & Social (UNES) Division, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India said, “The technology support and mobilising finance needs to be highlighted in the international climate negotiations not just in COP26 but also beyond it.”
The panel discussion saw experts highlight the importance of climate stabilization and equity while viewing them through the lens of both short-term and long-term strategies. At the discussion, Atul Bagai, Country Director – India, UNEP underscored, “The need to widen the dialogue of climate change from a focused group of experts to local, household level with a growing focus on adaptation.”
“Global COPs and conversations notwithstanding, the locus of actions is firmly embedded in countries and they will go as fast as their national politics around climate change allow them. Where and how fast we move will be a constant tussle,” stressed Dr. Navroz K. Dubash, Senior Fellow, Centre for Policy Research in the discussion.
Dr. Archna Negi, Associate Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University said, “The strategic concerns that will drive what India does in COP26 and they will derive from a lot of action that happens outside the COP track including G20 and BRICS.”
“Global problem requires global solution, and nobody can address it in isolation. Collaboration around technology and fund transfer from developed countries to developing countries is essential,” underlined Manish Chourasia, Managing Director, Tata Cleantech Capital Ltd.
“It is in India’s interest that a serious effort is made globally to meet the 1.5°C goals. In this endeavour, we can either be a bystander or a leader,” expanded Chandra Bhushan, Chief Executive Officer, International Forum for Environment, Sustainability & Technology.
The session was brought to a close by Manjeev Puri, Former Ambassador and Distinguished Fellow, TERI. Summarising the discussions of the conference and delivering the Vote of Thanks, he said, “India needs to act and can become a global leader but at the same time needs to protect its policy space. For a large developing country like India, a level playing field for international response is crucial.”