At COP27, climate finance will be key

The United Nations climate conference — COP27 — will convene in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, early next month (November 6 and 18). However, while COP27 has been christened as COP of implementation, the road is littered with several obstacles: The energy crisis, thanks to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, continuing Covid-19, and a global economic downturn, and as Union environment minister Bhupender Yadav, said, the widening gap between the pledges made at COP26 in 2021 by the developed countries and the actions taken by them.

On Friday, participating at a virtual meeting of likeminded developed countries, Mr Yadav again raised the issue of climate finance and how the West has failed to pay for the damages it has caused. In an earlier interview with this newspaper, the environment minister said that the focus for India at COP27 will be: A multilaterally agreed definition of finance; a decision on the new collective goal on finance beyond 2025; an assessment of commitment made by the developed countries to provide $100bn/year of climate finance by 2020; and matters related to article 2.1{c} of the Paris Agreement.

India updated its nationally determined contribution (NDC) in August. But its ambitious climate goals can be met only if it gets adequate funds. According to government calculations presented in Parliament a few years ago (based on the earlier NDC), India will need at least $2.5 trillion to meet its 2030 climate targets. It translates into $170 billion every year till 2030. But the updated NDC is much more ambitious and so the requirement for funds will be much more. According to the IFSCA Expert Committee on Sustainable Finance report, India will require investments of $10 trillion to achieve the net-zero target by 2070. Without any real progress on finance, there will be no equity in climate negotiations and, crucially, no energy transition.