Climate Change Financing Unit set up

With funding emerging as a crucial component in fight against climate change, the Finance Ministry has created a special unit which will provide guidance and inputs to the Environment Ministry to help it bolster India's voice in international negotiations.

The 'Climate Change Financing Unit' has been tasked with preparing briefs and position papers for the Union government position on climate change financing, among others.

"To provide guidance and inputs to MoEF to feed into climate change negotiations as well as to develop capacity to analyse emerging issues," are among the responsibilities of the unit, the Finance Ministry has said.

Climate change is a complex policy issue with major implications in terms of finance and all actions to address climate change ultimately involve costs, the ministry said.

To have an effective framework aimed at addressing concerns of developing nations such as India, the unit led by led by Principal Economic Adviser Dipak Dasgupta would also closely look at the financial pledges made by developed countries.

The UN Convention on Climate Change squarely puts the responsibility for the provision of financial support on the developed countries taking into account their contribution to the stock of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the atmosphere.

India would be spending large resources through its planning process on meeting the domestic mitigation goal of reducing the emissions intensity of its GDP by 20-25 per cent by 2020 in comparison with 2005 level, the Ministry said.

Currently, India spends in excess of 2.6 per cent of its economic output (GDP) on "adaptation to climate variability". The focus areas are agriculture, water resources, health and sanitation, forests and coastal zone infrastructure.

While India on its own has taken a number of steps, the paper said increased domestic momentum to deal with green issues also "critically depends on multilateral negotiations" taking place and actual disbursement of fast start and long term finance promised during the Cancun meeting.

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