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India sets up pivotal climate change financing unit

03 August 2012
India sets up pivotal climate change financing unit

NEW DELHI: The Indian Government has set up a new climate change financing unit which will give guidance to the Environment Ministry, in a bid to amplify the nation’s voice in international climate talks.

The new Climate Change Financing Unit was created by the Finance Ministry and will be led by Principal Economic Adviser Dipak Dasgupta. It will largely prepare briefs and papers for the Union Government to help concrete its position on many existing and emerging climate issues. It will also analyze financial pledges made by the developed countries in addressing the climate challenge.

Key issues to be covered by the new Unit have been highlighted by the finance ministry in the Designing the Green Climate Fund working paper, which states: “Current government expenditure on adaptation to climate variability exceeds 2.6% of the GDP, with agriculture, water resources, health and sanitation, forests, coastal zone infrastructure and extreme events being specific areas of concern.”

Funding is crucial for India to successfully adopt the necessary climate adaptation measures and reach its emission reduction targets, so the Unit’s creation is essential.

But while India is working hard to meet its goal of reducing GDP emission intensity by 20-25% by 2020 from 2005 levels, the UN Convention on Climate Change (UNCCC) puts financial responsibility on developed countries.

The UNCCC has estimated that additional investment needed worldwide for climate change adaptation will be around US$200-210 billion in 2030, to return greenhouse gases to current levels.

As these funding requirements grow, developing countries like India are realizing the need for a multilateral financial mechanism backed by developed countries, such as the Green Climate Fund.

Coupled with its own domestic progress, India should be able to benefit from the long term finance which was promised by the parties during the COP16 meeting in Cancun.

Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group commented: “With funding one of the key components in driving low carbon investments, especially in developing countries, this new Unit is a pivotal step by the Indian Government. Steps like this can ultimately shape the world – the world that our Clean Revolution Campaign envisions. But increased domestic momentum also needs international agreement and support. We must look to create similar units across both developing and developed nations as well as increase collaboration, if we are to reach the investment needed to reduce emissions to safe levels.”

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