Climate change: India to host 48-nation talks

Climate talks

India has once again taken an initiative to break the impasse on climate change. Ahead of the Cancun meet, it will host 'informal' talks between ministers from 48 nations to build a consensus on the contentious global mechanism for transfer of environmentally-sound technologies and matching funds to countries that would be most hit by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC).

The Ministerial Dialogue would focus on 'concrete questions' to promote understanding and work towards consensus building on establishing an International Technology Mechanism and a Financial Mechanism to cover the extra costs that developing countries would suffer on switching to expensive but climate-friendly technologies being pushed under the UNFCC.

"The goal of the roundtable is to enable ministers to assess the options from a practical and operational perspective, and channel political guidance into areas where it would be most strategic with a view to facilitate agreement at COP 16 (16th Conference of Parties) in Cancun," says the concept note for the meet.

The two-day conference, which starts the day Obama leaves India, would address issues on means of implementation, including institutional framework, capacity building, innovation, commercialisation, financing, mainstreaming and partnerships to facilitate development, transfer, diffusion and deployment of technologies.

Last year, India played host to an international conference on Technology Development and Transfer, which resulted in Delhi Statement on Global Cooperation on Climate Technology that proved to be a useful input in the negotiations at the Copenhagen conference.

Though a decision on this aspect could not be arrived at the Copenhagen meet, the need to actualise this mechanism acquires significance in the run-up to the Cancun climate talks next month.

The Cancun talks are aimed at reaching agreed outcomes on the Bali Action Plan under which nations have to evolve necessary mechanisms that enable and provide support to developing countries in terms of technologies.

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