The idea of climate action should not be to move the climate ambition goalpost to 2050, and countries must fulfil their pre-2020 commitments, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Tuesday.

Representing India at the UN Security Council open debate on "Addressing climate-related risks to international peace and security", Javadekar said climate action needs to go hand in hand with the framework for financial, technical and capacity-building support to countries that need it.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement negotiated under the Framework are the central mechanisms for climate action in a nationally determined manner based on certain fundamental agreed principles, the foremost amongst is “Common but Differentiated Responsibility and Respective Capabilities”, he said.

Citing the 2019 IPCC Special Report “Climate Change and Land” which said extreme weather and climate or slow-onset events may lead to increased displacement, disrupted food chains, threatened livelihoods, and could contribute to exacerbated stresses for conflict, the Minister said even the best science available claims that climate change only exacerbates conflict and is not a reason for conflict and does not threaten peace and security. Therefore it is important to ensure that no parallel tracks for climate negotiations are created, brushing aside the fundamentally agreed principles, Javadekar stressed.

“While climate change does not directly or inherently cause violent conflict, its interaction with other social, political and economic factors can, nonetheless, exacerbate drivers of conflict and fragility and have negative impacts on peace, stability and security; and therefore it is for precisely this reason that developing country’s’ Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement included information on adaptation activities, and the need for finance, technology development and transfer, capacity building, and transparency,” he said.

Javadekar once again reiterated that developed countries’ commitment to jointly mobilise $100 billion per year by 2020 in support of climate action in developing countries has not been realised.

“As primary caregivers, women are often living on the frontline of climate change and have distinct knowledge and experience to contribute to building effective adaptation strategies. There is an urgent need to promote and support the meaningful participation of women and marginalised groups in national-level climate change policy and planning processes,” he observed.

The Minister said India is the only country on track among the G20 nations to meet its climate change mitigation commitments. “We are not only meeting our Paris Agreement targets but will also exceed them,” he said.

Commenting on post-Covid-19 recovery, Javadekar said that India believes that there is a significant opportunity for countries to integrate low-carbon development in their Covid-19 rescue and recovery measures and long-term mitigation strategies that are scheduled to be announced for the reconvened 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26) in 2021.

The UK is holding the Presidency of the UNSC for February 2021, and one of their Presidency events is to organise this open debate.