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Experts for top-down review mechanism for climate action plans

New Delhi: Ahead of the crucial 21st session of Conference of Parties in Paris to reach an agreement on legal character of national contributions and assessment process, India’s environmental experts on Wednesday called for a midterm and top-down approach to review climate actions plans.

The experts were of the view that it was extremely important to have shorter periods of review for climate action plans known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs).

Speaking at a panel discussion here, Lavanya Rajamani, professor at the Centre for Policy Research, stressed on shorter periods of review to relook national contributions, saying midterm review after five years would serve the purpose better.

The discussion is part of the French Embassy’s monthly seminar series entitled ‘The Road to Paris COP21 Dialogues’.

The 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) and the 11th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) will take place from November 30 to December 11, 2015, in Paris.

Centre for Science and Environment deputy director general Chandra Bhushan sounded critical, saying the INDCs focused only on “mitigation, adaptation and finance” and ignored other dimensions such as how countries were suffering from climate change.

He, therefore, urged for a “top-down review mechanism in order to ensure integrity in the climate action plans”.

The design of the review process would determine the extent to which these national contributions add up to reach the agreed temperature goal (2 degrees Celsius), Bhushan said.

He also expressed apprehensions about $2.5 trillion India needed to fulfill its pledge to slash carbon emissions by 33-35 percent by 2030.

“Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar is not discussing where the funds ($2.5 trillion) will come from,” Bhushan said, adding that the debate was wide open in Paris.

On October 2, India submitted its 38-page climate action plan for the Paris conference, in which it pledged to cut emission levels by 33-35 percent over the next 15 years.

The submissions, called from the 196 parties (or countries) under the framework, are to serve as the basis for negotiating an agreement to lay the path for a low-carbon, climate-resilient future.

So far, 120 countries, collectively accounting for 85.3 percent of the global emissions, have made submissions.