India asks for US$1 trillion of climate finance, will only submit enhanced emissions targets after COP26

As one of the biggest carbon emitters, India's commitment will be crucial to keeping global warming under control.

Zi Shan Kow | November 12, 2021, 09:20 PM

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While India has announced its enhanced emission goals, or Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), its delegation will only formally submit them after the conclusion of the international climate talks.

It was previously reported on Nov. 11 by The Hindu that India is demanding US$1 trillion in climate finance as a condition for India to deliver on its climate commitments.

Will India submit its emission targets after its pledge?

"The decision on when to submit revised NDCs has not yet been taken,” said Rameshwar Prasad Gupta, Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change.

An unnamed delegate also told the Hindustan Times that India will not update its NDCs until there is "clarity on climate finance".

Bloomberg reported that India wants a clear promise on making the funds available “as soon as possible", according to an official.

Speaking to Mothership on Nov. 11, an Indian party delegate Sonamani Haobam clarified that India will "follow the due process" to submit their NDCs, "which will take time".

The delegation plans to formally submit its NDCs to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change after the end of the conference, Haobam said.

US$1 trillion in climate finance

Back in 2009, developed nations had promised to provide US$100 billion every year starting 2020 to aid developing countries in reducing carbon emissions and adapting to climate change.

Based on current estimates, the US$100 billion target for 2020 was not met.

"We all know this truth that the promises made till date regarding climate finance have proved to be hollow," said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his national statement delivered at COP26.

Modi also said that "pressure should be put on [developed nations]", and that "India expects developed countries to provide climate finance of US$1 trillion at the earliest."

Haobam shared with Mothership that the one trillion amount is calculated based on the promise of US$100 billion a year until the end of the decade.

The issue of climate finance may be postponed to COP27, and world leaders are now promising to fulfil the US$100 billion a year target by 2023, reported Reuters.

In calling for climate finance, Modi said: "I consider it as my duty to raise the voice of developing countries."

Haobam also told Mothership that India's push for more climate finance is done in advocacy for developing states. He mentioned countries like Bhutan and Nepal.

Bloomberg reported Gupta adding that the US$1 trillion also takes into account of loss and damage caused to the "poor countries" as a result of global warming, calling it a "debt" owed by countries that contributed to the most amount of carbon emissions.

That said, having contributed to 7 per cent of global emissions, India is one of the major emitters in the world.

India's new emission targets

Under the Paris Agreement, countries are due to offer new updated emission pledges for COP26, which began Oct. 31.

Modi announced its NDCs on the second day of the climate conference.

Crucially, India pledged to achieve net-zero by 2070, and raised its reduction of carbon intensity from 33 per cent to 45 per cent by 2030 from 2005 levels.

In his revised NDCs, Modi had promised that India will meet 50 per cent of its energy requirements from renewable energy by 2030, and increase its renewable energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030.

This means India will more than triple its present renewable energy capacity in less than ten years, according Om Prakash Agarwal, CEO of World Resources Institute India.

To reach this goal, Haobam shared that India would require a minimum of US$4.5 trillion, which would only account for its mitigation efforts, not yet adaptation.

The two-week conference is scheduled to close on Friday, Nov. 12, and the Indian delegation is expected to be headed home the next day, Haobam said.

Top image by Doug Peters/UK Government.