India has called for majority funding of the proposed $15-billion Green Climate Fund by public financing in grant terms even as several countries are emphasising private sector investment and climate investment as panacea for all ills.
Prakash Javadkar said at a meeting of the Major Economies Forum (MEF), a meeting of 17 major economies, in Paris on Friday, "In our view the private sector can complement but not supplant public finance needed to address climate change and its impacts, India's minister for environment, forest and climate change."
India, he said, has taken a number of steps to combat climate change, including the setting up of a Rs100-crore ($20 million approx) National Adaptation Fund under the 2014-15 annual plan.
Besides, he said, the government has set up a mission for the Himalayan regions and another to clean up the Ganga.
The government has also enhanced the cess on coal from Rs50 per tonne to Rs100 per tonne, which would be used for cross subsidisation of clean energy and renewable energy programmes.
The meeting of the MEF in Paris is expected to give birth to a new climate change agreement in 2015.
Despite being launched in 2009-10, the Green Climate Fund still has empty coffers, Javadelakr said, adding that the need of the hour is quick capitalisation as climate actions cannot wait. The Green Climate Fund should be capitalised by 2015, he said, adding that the Initial Resource Mobilisation (IRM) meeting in Oslo, however, has hardly produced any result.
Javadekar called for a roadmap for countries for achieving this. ''We cannot reclassify Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) as climate finance. This would have critical bearing on the pre-2020 and the post 2020 climate agenda,'' he said.
Beyond 2020, the minister pointed out, the number of developing countries submitting their intended nationally determined contributions (INDC), will be "very low" unless the the developed countries commit substantial amount of climate finance upfront before September 2014 to fund the requirements likely to be depicted in the INDCs and bring it to the notice of the heads of state of developing countries.
Therefore, he said, the issue of climate finance and commitment thereof in substantial amount by the developed countries is an essential prerequisite for eliciting carefully prepared information on INDCs from the developing countries.
He suggested that part of GCF should be used for financing critical technologies and purchase of IPRs and making them available to developing countries free of cost.
The demand for capitalisation of the Green Climate Fund comes close on the heels of the German parliament making a provision in the 2014 budget that authorises the German government to make a multi-year pledge of up to 750 million, and a first payment to the fund is planned for 2015. The Angela Merkel government is also expected to make a symbolic payment this year.
France is also reported to be working on its contribution, with rising domestic demand that the government contribute at least 1 billion as minimal contribution, which would be in line with its fair share of the estimated initial capitalisation of the Fund based on global overseas development assistance that is pegged at 15 billion.
Many countries like the UK, US, Australia, Canada, France, Russia, Germany, South Africa, Brazil, Peru, Italy, Mexico, Indonesia, China, Singapore, Korea, Tanzania, Turkey, Poland and Saudi Arabia congratulated and appreciated the new Indian government and expressed interest in working with it.