Guest post by Rishab Khanna from the Indian Youth Climate Action Network, and part of the IofC team in Cancun
Sitting here in the Space shuttle of the Cancun Messe, far away from the negotiations in the Moon Palace, I wanted to share my first impressions of my interaction with the Indian Environment Minster Jai Ram Ramesh.
Well here I am just started to type in some words, and being attacked by a giant butterfly :). Jai Ram did not waste any time in getting to the point, he said that in the last 15 months, India’s strategy with regards to climate change has been a function of three factors:
a) Indian Economic Interest
b) Domestic Environment agenda
c) Global diplomacy, repositioning India for the UN security council
He seemed worried about the Kyoto Protocol, but had not lost all hope on it. According to him, our main mission here was to achieve certain operationally meaningful COP decisions, and these could as the building blocks that we are all looking for. Some of the building blocks which they were looking for were fast track finance, long term finance, Adaptation, Technology cooperation, M.R.V.-ICA and forestry ( RED+). He feels that the only text that we have a major consensus on was Forestry, its difficult for us to get an agreement on most of the others in this COP.
India’s plans to work on capacity building for the small island states seems very promising, their efforts to assist them with 2 scholarships for each of the small island states to study coast zone management could be great effort towards building technical capacity for adaptation in the most vulnerable states of the world. India is also willing to look at 1.5 degrees of warming or 350 ppm at the AR 5.
A major initiative to work in the Sunderbans ecosystem is also being looked in cooperation with Bangladesh.
However India does not seem to be very happy with the ‘fast’, ‘track’, ‘ finance’, according Jai Ram none of these words qualify for the process being put in place by the North. The commitment from US to the fast track money is also very weak.
Hope in the coming days we get to see more progress on the building blocks, also get a better understanding of IofC’s role in bridging these negotiations.