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Parameters of climate finance and technology transfer remain undefined: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

As part of the Paris Agreement, industrialized countries have committed to providing 100 billion US dollars annually from 2020 to enable emissions reductions in poorer countries and, in this context, to bring about technology transfer.

Questions about how the annual commitment of US $ 100 billion to climate finance is measured and the associated technology transfer are taken into account remain unanswered. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said at the end of the Washington DC leg of their US visit. The minister in Washington for the Annual meeting of the World Bank and the IMF, bilateral dialogues with the USA and meetings with other countries as well as the private sector has repeatedly addressed or discussed the issue of climate finance obligations in several meetings, as can be seen from statements and readings.

Also read: Rich countries need to do more to tackle climate change: Jaishankar

“… We don’t really know if there have been any measures in place to measure whether the money someone is spending on a particular project will be part of that $ 100 billion, or what,” she said in response to a question from The Hindu on climate finance during a press conference on Friday evening.

“So what is the 100 billion? How do we measure whether 100 billion has actually been given or just a certain amount? ”She said.

As part of the Paris Agreement, industrialized countries have committed to providing 100 billion US dollars annually from 2020 to enable emissions reductions in poorer countries and, in this context, to bring about technology transfer.

Ms. Sitharaman said there was a similar problem with technology – what is designated technology for these purposes and how transfer is measured.

“So funding remains a concern for many countries, as is technology transfer,” she said.

In the run-up to the end of the month UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, India has come under pressure, particularly from the US and UK, to announce more ambitious emissions cuts beyond the Paris commitments and to set a deadline by which it will be achieved ‘Net zero’ emissions. India announced in 2016 that it would cut its emissions by a third by 2030 compared to 2005.

In return, she has argued that developing countries need room for growth and that industrialized countries need to adopt a “net-minus” paradigm and meet climate finance commitments.

Debt sustainability discussed

When asked if China was discussed in the context of debt sustainability and transparency, Ms. Sitharaman said the issue had been discussed but had stopped mentioning China by name.

“I definitely brought up this topic of sustainable debt finance and it has come to mind in many countries. So there have been discussions, ”she said.

In a joint statement by India and the US following a financial and economic dialogue chaired by Ms. Sitharaman and US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Thursday, it said: “Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to debt sustainability and transparency in bilateral lending”.

The Treasury Secretary traveled to New York on Friday evening, where she will hold events on the weekend and Monday, including a Saturday round table with the US India Strategic Partnership Forum and FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry). On Sunday she is supposed to attend the G30 International Banking Seminar (an advisory group on monetary and economic issues). The minister’s trip ends on Monday.