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COP18: Equity and Responsibility at heart of Doha for India

16 November 2012
COP18: Equity and Responsibility at heart of Doha for India

In the lead-up to COP18 which takes place in Doha, Qatar, from November 26 to December 7, 2012, our international policy teams will be commenting on key regional positions.

Here, Aditi Dass and Ashirbad Raha from our New Delhi office, explain the priorities for India at the upcoming UN Climate Conference.

Doha will be an important COP for India. As the UN process moves to consolidate negotiations under a single track (the so-called ‘Durban Platform’) from 2013, a key priority for India is to ensure that the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibility (CBDR) are properly reflected in the new process.

India’s view is that these founding principles of the UN climate regime must remain at the heart of any new treaty. This will ensure that developed countries maintain their historic responsibility to lead global action on climate change, while poorer countries take action appropriate to their level of development.

Second Kyoto

Like other Parties – large and small, developed and developing – India’s other key objectives include the launch of the second Kyoto commitment period from 1 January 2013 and the conclusion of the Convention talks on ‘Long-term Cooperative Action’.

With respect to this second negotiating track, India is seeking substantive progress and conclusions on a number of issues it considers of critical importance. These include intellectual property rights (IPRs) and unilateral trade measures.

Clean technology costs

India considers that restrictive IPR regimes limit the diffusion of the clean technologies by keeping the cost of these technologies too high. This limits the ability of developing countries to implement low carbon development strategies.

India is also seeking agreement on the use of certain unilateral measures to address climate change, which it believes also act as disguised trade measures.

The EU’s inclusion of international aviation in its emissions trading scheme is a particular sore point for India.

Mitigation obligations

From developed countries, India will continue to seek greater levels of mitigation ambition, including emission reduction targets of between 25-40% by 2020.

India also considers that developed countries need to need to fulfil their obligations regarding financial, technological and capacity-building support to allow developing countries to come forward with national mitigation actions.

India will also be advocating for the role of carbon markets in helping countries meet their mitigation obligations.

Green Climate Fund

Along with many other developing countries, India will also be seeking substantive progress on funding for the new Green Climate Fund (GCF).

India considers that the GCF will be an important source of the billions of dollars that developing countries need to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Capitalizing the currently empty fund is therefore of considerable importance, since it will help progress discussions in other areas, notably on technology, adaptation and capacity building.

India also believes that the GCF will need to work under the authority and guidance of the COP to ensure it meets the needs of Parties and not an independent agenda.

As always, India will work closely with other members of the G77+China group and in particular with its BASIC partners (Brazil, South Africa, and China), to secure a deal in Doha that places equity and responsibility at the heart of international climate action.


Damian Ryan, Senior Policy Manager, The Climate Group, will be writing news and analysis and live-tweeting throughout COP18, and providing a more in-depth post-COP Briefing after the events. Keep up to date on our website and by following him on Twitter during COP18. 

In the run up to and during Doha we will also be posting a series of articles featuring analysis from our teams in the US, China, Europe and Australia on their nations' COP negotiating positions.

Read our pre-COP18 briefing paper now.

Follow a live feed from COP18 below.



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