India welcomes the IPCC Working Group II contribution to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) on Climate Change: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability

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Assessment Report on Climate Change

The report reaffirms India’s call for equity and climate justice: Union Environment Minister

Developed countries must take the lead in urgent mitigation and providing finance for adaptation, loss and damage.

Delhi, Mar 1
India welcomes the release of the Working Group II (WG2) contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav in a series of tweet messages said that the report reaffirms India’s call for equity and climate justice and stated that the Developed countries must take the lead in urgent mitigation and providing finance for adaptation, loss and damage.

“India is walking the path of climate resilient development under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and has demonstrated a clear resolve to move ahead along a sustainable, resource efficient growth path.”, said the Union Minister

A delegation from India participated in the final discussions on the Summary for Policymakers of the Report, held online from 14th February to 27th February (extending two days over its scheduled duration) and has joined other nations in approving the Summary for Policymakers of the Report.

The following are the key findings of the Report and its Summary for Policymakers:

• The Report affirms that climate change due to historical emissions is leading to serious impacts which are already being felt globally including in developing countries with low contribution to cumulative emissions. These impacts will rise as warming proceeds and will rise rapidly at higher levels of warming.

• The Report emphasizes that action on adaptation is urgently needed – as urgently as action on mitigation.

• The Summary for Policymakers (SPM) underlines the need for climate action on the basis of equity and climate justice to ensure the well-being of humanity and the planet.

• The science of climate resilience now fully acknowledges the importance of equity and climate justice that India has always championed and had brought into the Paris Agreement.

• Further, the SPM clearly acknowledges the importance of Indigenous and Local Knowledge in adaptation to climate change.

• Vulnerable and marginalized communities, regions and populations face rising exposure to hazards. The SPM notes that vulnerability is enhanced by lack of development, social and economic inequalities.

• The Report is a clarion call for the world to abandon their unsustainable production and consumption and move urgently to climate resilient development. Reference to sustainable lifestyles has already been introduced in the Paris Agreement thanks to India’s efforts, led by the Hon’ble Prime Minister at Paris in 2015.

• The Report notes that the impacts and the consequent limitations to adaptation would rise beyond 1.5 degree warming above pre-industrial levels. India notes that the Working Group I contribution to AR6 released in August, 2021 had made clear that developed countries need to rapidly decrease their emissions and reach net zero by 2050

• Provision of finance is critical for helping developing countries and vulnerable populations act quickly and effectively. Public finance is the key enabler for adaptation.

• Development to reduce non-climatic drivers of vulnerability is critical to promoting adaptation and is already reducing vulnerability. Rapid progress on achieving the SDGs will help in enhancing adaptive capacity and resilience.

• The Report re-affirms that the balance between adaptation and mitigation in climate resilient development depends on national circumstances according to countries’ capabilities including resources and past contributions to global emissions.

• The Report fully acknowledges the importance of losses and damages arising from climate change. Inadequate adaptation due to lack of financial and technological resources, capacity building and other constraints lead to losses and damages. Further losses and damages would increase as some limits to adaptation are being reached and more would be at higher levels of warming.

• Adaptation suffers from a tremendous lack of finance, with only a small proportion of climate finance devoted to it, while the overwhelming proportion goes to mitigation.

• Ecosystem based adaptation and Nature-based approaches such as green infrastructure offer multiple benefits and synergies between adaptation and mitigation. Though the Report refers to the prospects and limitations of Nature-based Solutions (NbS) in climate mitigation, the SPM acknowledges the reservations of developing countries that NbS will be promoted as the sole or the major solution to climate mitigation which is obviously not the case.

• The Report recognizes the key role of agriculture and the great importance of food security in adaptation.

• India faces multiple climate hazards and has high vulnerability to climate change.

• The Report notes that future climate-resilient development pathways depend on climate risks, adaptation measures and the remaining carbon budget.

India is already walking the path of climate resilient development with its combination of several adaptation-oriented development actions and its contribution to mitigation. At COP26, as the implementation of the Paris Agreement began, India reaffirmed its commitment to climate actions, including the goal of net zero by 2070, and the one-word mantra of L.I.F.E. = lifestyles for environment.

India notes that future reports should strengthen the “solution space” and more comprehensively assess knowledge regarding effectiveness, costs and benefits.

India firmly believes that climate change is a global collective action problem that can be solved only through international cooperation and multilateralism.

India has taken tremendous actions under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to combat climate change by taking several initiatives including, inter-alia, setting up of International Solar Alliance, Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, ‘One Sun, One World, One Grid’ and Infrastructure for Resilient Island States, raising the domestic renewable energy target to 500 GW by 2030, putting in place an ambitious National Hydrogen Mission and continuing efforts to decouple its emissions from economic growth.

India’s cumulative and per capita current emissions are significantly low and far less than its fair share of the global carbon budget and its actions to address global climate change are compatible with Paris Agreement goals.

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