COP17 - International confabulations & sub-national actions: Showcasing India's response to climate change


TERI's side event at COP 17 focused on the ambitious actions laid out on climate change at sub-national scales vis-à-vis international negotiations and the course of developments. The focus was on the (highly diluted) commitments on international negotiations and the disproportionate domestic actions being taken. The case of India, wherein every state is developing its Climate Action Plans, was presented with an analysis of frameworks, priorities, and capacities.

The side event marked the first day of the COP meet and was well attended by representatives from national and international research institutes, funding agencies, NGOs and government bodies. The opening remarks for the event were given by Dr R K Pachauri, Director General, TERI. He highlighted that while there is still commendable action to be observed at the international discussions, the role to be played at the sub-national scales is quite significant since it is at this scale that most of the climate action is likely to take place. Focus on both mitigation and adaptation is necessary in case of both developed and developing country parties.

Dr Arabinda Mishra, Director, Earth Science and Climate Change Division, TERI, presented the findings from the TERI discussion paper on the theme of the side event, "International confabulations and sub-national actions on climate change: Showcasing India's response". He mentioned that despite the international discourse on reaching an agreement on climate actions, one can observe significant measures being taken at sub-national scales. In this context, he gave the example of developments in India. He mentioned the NAPCC (National Action Plan on Climate Change) and the SAPCC (State Action Plan on Climate Change) that have been developed and that most states in India, almost 16 out of 28 have submitted their climate change action plans. TERI conducted an analysis of the various submissions to gauge the level of ambitions that the states have planned for themselves and the level of preparedness in the states to achieve the goals. The analysis was carried out for six states, representing different geographical contexts and varying socio-economic conditions. He highlighted the impressive spread of actions laid out both in mitigation and adaptation and the significant factors that would be deterministic on the successful implementation of those actions. A significant conclusion driven from the analysis was that none of the SAPCCs were able to highlight how these actions would be supported and the paper concludes that it is a strong hindrance in achieving the goals laid out by the states. International roles then become significant in helping achieve these objectives and the need for a BALI plus Action Plan to help achieve these goals should be aimed. Also, facilitating technology transfer through non-IPR modes should be explored.

The lead presentation was followed by discussions by a distinguished panel comprising Dr Youba Sokona from the Africa Climate Policy Centre, Mr Jon Price from Low Carbon Strategies, Mr John Drexrage, Director, ICMM (International Council on Mining and Metals) and Ms Jennifer Morgan from the World Resources Institute participated in the discussions. Dr Sokona highlighted the need for realizing the principles of CBDR (Common but Differentiated Responsibility). Mr Price spoke about the city level initiatives. Dr Drexrage mentioned how the mining and metals area is slowly growing into a major area that has the potential to mitigate significantly and most countries have strong mitigating potential in this sector. Ms Morgan mentioned the various state initiatives being taken in the US despite the government's opposition at the federal level. She highlighted that there is, however, a need to be careful and prevent any double accounting that might happen when one is observing actions being taken at different levels. Overall, the paper was well received and the event had a participation of about 40-45 people.

Date: 28 Nov 2011 Theme: Climate Change
Location: Apies River room, ICC
Category: Any Other

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Ms Suruchi Bhadwal
Associate Director
Earth Science and Climate Change Division