India said on Monday that the UN climate conference under way in the Spanish capital should concentrate more on achieving the goals of the Paris climate accord and not bring up new issues as it will be "futile" to talk of new targets and ambitions unless the 2015 deal is implemented.
"India's expectation from the COP 25 is that we should concentrate more on action on the Paris Agreement, and not broach new issues and new subjects," Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, who is here to attend the climate summit, told reporters.
The Paris accord was adopted by 195 parties at the UN climate conference "COP 21" held in the French capital in 2015 with an aim to reduce hazardous greenhouse gas emissions. Nineteen members of the G20 have voiced their commitment to the full implementation of the deal. Only the US under President Donald Trump has since indicated its intention to leave the deal
The objective of the Paris Agreement is to keep the global average temperature rise from pre-industrial times to well below 2 degrees Celsius.
During a media briefing at the India Pavilion set up at the 25th Conference of Parties under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP25), which started on December 2, Javadekar said that reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and others have found that India is among the top five best-performing countries in working to meet the goals it set under the Paris Agreement.
"We are walking the talk, we have reduced our energy intensity by 25 per cent, and we are very sure that we will outdo our promise of 35 per cent by 2030," Javadekar said.
The minister noted that India is "probably" one of the few countries where green cover is increasing.
"My latest figure is we have increased the forest and tree cover outside forests by 13,000 square kilometres. It is huge compared to any country in the world, and therefore India wants all countries to first follow the Paris [Agreement]. It will be futile to talk of new targets, ambitions and programs unless we carry out our implementation of Paris [deal]," he said.
Javadekar said India will not forget the Paris Agreement as it was a "historical promise" and the Kyoto Protocol parties must take the responsibility to see that it's implemented.
"That is our position, and if they want, they [industralized countries] can declare their targets from pre-2020 actions in this COP and say that they will require two or three years to implement it. That can be adjusted, but pre-2020 cannot be sidelined or cannot be used back, and new themes introduced every time. So India is very firm on acting on the Paris Agreement."
Banner image: All countries should concentrate on implementing their pledges before asking others to increase climate actions, says the Indian minister / Credit: Shakoor Rather