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India pledges to cut emissions by 33-35% over next 15 years

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www.rspb.org.uk

By NewsGram Staff-Writer

New Delhi: India on Friday made a 38-page submission that pledged India’s commitment to reduce emission levels by 33-35 percent over the next 15 years. Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar has described India’s submission as ambitious, fair and balanced commitment to protect the environment that is married to the country’s own agenda for sustainable development.

Ahead of the crucial 21st meeting of the Conference of Parties under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change due in Paris from November 30 to December 11, India made a 38-page submission under what is called the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs).

The submissions, called from the 196 parties (or countries) under the framework, are to serve as the basis for negotiating an agreement laying the path to a low-carbon, climate-resilient future. So far, 120 countries, collectively accounting for 85.3 percent of global emissions, have made submissions.

“Through this submission, India intends to reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33-35 percent by 2030 from the 2005 level. This commitment is further echoed in India’s actions in climate change adaptation with the setting up of its own ‘National Adaptation Fund’,” said New Delhi’s document.

India’s INDCs are “fair and ambitious”, considering the fact that it is balancing goals of a “low carbon emission pathway” and “all developmental challenges the country faces today”, it said, adding the country’s current policy framework also includes a favorable environment for a rapid increase in renewable energy, move towards low carbon sustainable development and adapting to the impact of climate change.

“Accordingly, India’s development plans will continue to lay a balanced emphasis on economic development and the environment,” it said, recounting the framework’s mandate based on principles of equity, as also common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities of member-nations.

India’s paper, the release of which coincides with Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary, is based on the 1992 Kyoto convention and says that both in terms of cumulative global emissions and per capita emission, it has caused much less damage to the environment but its actions to mitigate climate change were fair and ambitious.

“Much before the climate change debate began, Mahatma Gandhi, regarded as the father of our nation, had said that we should act as ‘trustees’ and use natural resources wisely as it is our moral responsibility to ensure that we bequeath to the future generations a healthy planet,” it said.

The issue of climate change, ahead of the Paris conference, has been high on the Indian government’s agenda and had figured in discussions Prime Minister Narendra Modi had with leaders of several countries, notably the US, Britain, France, Japan, and Germany, during his visit to the US last month.

At a press conference here, Javadekar said: “India’s contributions represent the utmost ambitious action in the current state of development. The world as a whole, including the developed world, needs to act more ambitiously. I am positive we will become a part of the solution. We will produce results.”

He said India’s expectation from Paris was a balanced pact with all components – mitigation, adaptation, technology, finance, and capacity building – consistent with the principles and provisions of the convention. India also wants predictable financing and technology to flow from the developed to the developing world.

India also outlined in its document climate change’s impact on its economy and nation as a whole, noting it will need $206 billion between 2015 and 2030 to implement actions in agriculture, forestry, fisheries infrastructure, water resources, and ecosystems, to achieve the targets, not counting additional investments needed to strengthen resilience and disaster management.

Quoting an Asian Development Bank study, it said the approximate adaptation cost in the energy sector alone would roughly be about $7.7 billion in 2030s.

The paper said the efforts thus far on combating climate change has been self-financed.

“However, our efforts to avoid emissions during our development process are also tied to the availability and level of international financing and technology transfer, since India still faces complex developmental challenges,” it said.

The plan evoked wide appreciation, with some terming it “superior” to the ones proposed by the developed nations.

“India’s INDC is fair and is quite ambitious, specifically for the renewable energy and forestry,” said the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) director general Sunita Narain.

The CSE said India’s INDC was as good as China’s and better than in the US given both these countries have higher emissions and were economically more capable of reducing them to mitigate climate change.

Narain said that INDCs submitted by all major countries indicate that the world is not on a path to the 2 degree Celsius target and this “would be disastrous for poor people across the world”.

Solar energy major SunSource Energy co-founder and CEO Adarsh Das said India’s INDCs showed real responsibility and farsightedness, and the “goals, while somewhat aggressive, will provide the right boost to economy-wide efforts towards reducing carbon and resource intensity”.

Paharpur Business Centre chief executive officer Kamal Meattle termed it “a very welcome announcement” and ActionAid India executive director Sandeep Chachra called the plan far “superior” to the ones proposed by the US and the European Union.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Asia Cup : India Emerge Champions for third time, Beat Malaysia in Asia Cup Hockey Championship

India emerged victorious for the third time

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(representational Image) India vs Malaysia Hockey Match wikimedia

Dhaka, October 22, 2017 : India overcame Malaysia 2-1 in the final on Sunday to win the Asia Cup hockey championship for the third time.

Ramandeep Singh (3rd minute) and Lalit Upadhyay (29th) scored for India. Shahril Saabah (50th minute) scored the reducer for Malaysia. (IANS)

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India Demands Data on UN Staff Misconduct, Use of Immunity

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India has demanded the secretariat disclose information about misconduct by UN staff. Flickr

United Nations, Oct 7: In an attempt to break the wall of silence around the crimes and UN staff misconduct and those on its assignments, India has demanded the secretariat disclose information about such cases and the immunity invoked against prosecutions.

Yedla Umasankar, the legal advisor in India’s UN Mission, touched a raw nerve here by criticising the UN on Friday for not vigorously following up allegations of serious wrongdoing by its employees who enjoy the equivalent of diplomatic immunity, a prized possession of its staff.

“It appears that the UN system itself may be reluctant to waive immunity even for serious misconduct carried out by its personnel while serving on its missions, so that such cases can be prosecuted by the host governments,” he told the General Assembly’s committee on legal affairs.

“Even a few of such instances or allegations of crimes committed by UN personnel is highly damaging for the image and credibility of the United Nations system and its work around the world,” he added.

His statement also touched on the practice of some countries that protect their wrongdoers at the UN.

Umasankar demanded that secretariat disclose how many cases of serious misconduct by UN personnel were registered and the number of cases where the UN refused to waive immunity to allow their prosecution.

He also wanted to know in how many cases the host country wanted the immunity waived so it can prosecute those accused; the number of times the UN asked the host country or the country that sent them to prosecute them; how many times it consulted countries before waiver of the immunity of their personnel and how many of them refused UN’s request to waive their citizens’ immunity.

The information he wanted does not cover the diplomats sent by member countries to represent them at UN bodies and enjoy diplomatic immunity with the nations hosting the UN facilities.

After scores of serious allegations of sexual misconduct by peacekeepers, especially exploitation of children, the UN vowed to uphold a policy of zero tolerance and began publishing data on such cases in peacekeeping operations including how they were dealt with.

Starting with the year 2015, it began identifying the nationalities of those accused.

However, it has not made public a roster detailing all the allegations and proven cases of serious misconduct across the entire UN.

While the focus has been on sexual exploitation and abuse reported on peacekeeping operations, Umasankar said that “at a broader level, the issue of accountability has remained elusive in some cases”.

He attributed it to “the complexities of legal aspects relating to sovereignty and jurisdiction”, the immunity or privileges that may be necessary for UN operations, and the capability or willingness of countries to investigate and prosecute the accused.

He noted that the UN itself cannot make criminal prosecutions.

While Indian laws has provisions for dealing with crimes committed abroad by its citizens, not all countries have them, he said.

Those countries should be encouraged and helped to implement such measures, he added. (IANS)

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Indo-Pak Peace Talks Futile Unless Islamabad Sheds Links with Terrorism, says Study

A Study by a U.S. think tank calls India and Pakistan talks futile, until Pakistan changes its approach.

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India and Pakistan. Wikimedia.

A Top United States of America (U.S.) think tank, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace called the relations between India and Pakistan futile, unless Islamabad changes its approach and sheds its links with Jihadi terrorism.

A report “Are India and Pakistan Peace Talks Worth a Damn”, authored by Ashley J Tellis stated that such a move supported by foreign countries would be counterproductive and misguided.

The report suggests that International community’s call for the India and Pakistan talks don’t recognize that the tension between the two countries is not actually due to the sharp differences between them, but due to the long rooted ideological, territorial and power-political hatred. The report states that these antagonisms are fueled by Pakistani army’s desire to subvert India’s powerful global position.

Tellis writes that Pakistan’s hatred is driven by its aim to be considered and treated equal to India, despite the vast differences in their achievements and capabilities.

Also ReadMilitant Groups in Pakistan Emerge as Political Parties : Can Violent Extremism and Politics Co-exist? 

New Delhi, however, has kept their stance clear and mentioned that India and Pakistan talks cannot be conducted, until, the latter stops supporting terrorism, and the people conducting destructive activities in India.

The report further suggests that Pakistan sees India as a genuine threat and continuously uses Jihadi terrorism as a source to weaken India. The report extends its support to India’s position and asks other international powers, including the U.S., to extend their support to New Delhi.

Earlier in September, Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) slammed Pakistan for its continuous terror activities. She attacked the country by saying that India has produced engineers, doctors, and scholars; Pakistan has produced terrorists.

Sushma Swaraj further said that when India is being recognised in the world for its IT and achievements in the space, Pakistan is producing Terrorist Organisations like Lashkar-e-Taiba. She said that Pakistan is the world’s greatest exporter of havoc, death and inhumanity.

-by Megha Acharya  of NewsGram. Megha can be reached at @ImMeghaacharya.