Some nations say funds needed to boost green effort

Solar panels installed on the rooftop of the Yamaha Motor plant in Surajpur, Uttar Pradesh. If India wants to step up its efforts on solar power in a big way, it would need assistance with energy-storage technology.
Solar panels installed on the rooftop of the Yamaha Motor plant in Surajpur, Uttar Pradesh. If India wants to step up its efforts on solar power in a big way, it would need assistance with energy-storage technology.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

Developing countries state their positions in pushing harder to meet climate action plans

KATOWICE • Developing countries with fewer resources to cut carbon emissions and adapt to climate change said on Thursday that they cannot step up their efforts to combat global warming unless they get more support in the form of funding and technology.

India will deliver on what it has promised to do under the 2015 Paris Agreement by boosting renewable energy production, expanding forests, and generating fewer emissions in relation to its gross domestic product, its chief negotiator AK Mehta said.

"We are very certain that we will not renege on our commitment - we will do what is required," he told journalists on the sidelines of UN climate talks in Poland.

The US-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis said this month that India is on track to achieve two of its three targets well ahead of a 2030 deadline.

But it faces challenges in doing so, Mr Mehta emphasised.

If the South Asian nation wanted to step up its efforts on solar power in a big way, for example, it would need assistance with energy storage technology, he noted.

India met a 2020 goal of installing 20 gigawatts of solar power four years early, and is now aiming for 100 gigawatts by 2022, making it one of the world's most ambitious adopters.

But as nations around the world try to move towards a common goal of reducing emissions, "everybody is not similarly placed" in their ability to make those cuts, Mr Mehta said.

More than 190 countries are meeting in the coal-mining town of Katowice until Dec 14 to hammer out rules that will enable the Paris accord to be put into practice from 2020, and spur countries to strengthen their current climate action plans.

Current pledges to cut emissions would lead to global warming of about 3 deg C this century, scientists say.

Under the Paris deal, governments have pledged to hold temperature rise to "well below" 2 deg C above pre-industrial times, and ideally to 1.5 deg C.

Under the Paris Agreement, countries are expected to increase the ambition of their emissions-cutting plans by 2020.

At stake in Katowice is how they do that. The guidelines decided at the talks will be crucial to sharing the burden of the work, with poorer countries saying they need more financial help to do their part.

For the least developed nations, funding is a key piece in the puzzle that will enable them to deliver on their pledges, said Mr Gebru Jember Endalew, who chairs the group of 47 states.

"Increasing your ambition on your (climate action) plan alone will not be the right answer. There needs to be ambition in terms of increasing financial support," the Ethiopian said.

The UN climate talks have long tangled over how rich countries will meet a promise to raise US$100 billion (S$137 billion) a year from 2020 to help developing countries go green and cope with wild weather.

The latest figures show climate finance is rising but there is no agreement on what should be counted towards that goal.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 08, 2018, with the headline 'Some nations say funds needed to boost green effort'. Print Edition | Subscribe