1. Prologue
  2. Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDG)
  3. Loss and damage
  4. REDD+
  5. Money
  6. India’s stand @COP-19 Warsaw
    1. We want CBDR
    2. We’re not irresponsible
    3. India’s stand on Agriculture vs climate change
    4. India’s stand on Money 4 climate change
    5. India’s stand on HFC
    6. India’s stand on Technology transfer
    7. India’s stand on Misc. issues
  7. Warsaw outcomes:
  8. Limitations/Criticism of Warsaw Talks/COP-19
  9. Mock Questions


Before going to Warsaw, Poland, make sure you’ve read earlier articles on UNFCC and Kyoto protocol

During Nov 2013, Warsaw, Poland hosted:
  • 19th Conference of the Parties (COP19) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
  • 9th Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to Kyoto Protocol (CMP9)

Following timeline should help you see the bigger picture:

COP-19-UNFCC Warsaw timeline

click me to enlarge image

Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDG)

  • Oil rich:Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Bolivia and Malaysia
  • Coal rich: China and India
  • Chillar party.:Cuba, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Thailand.

Ok, What does this gang want?

  • They want strict separation between ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ countries’ responsibility in climate change
  • @Developed countries: You were the first nations to industrialize. You’re the one that cause this global warming. So, you’re obliged to cut emission. Our emissions are different from yours, for ours are produced in the process of industrialization while you are already in the post-industrialization era. In short you’re the main villain.
  • @Developing countries: we’ve responsibility to combat climate change. but we want no legally binding obligation to cut our emission. The developed nations (you) must not prescribe/preach us about climate change. We’ll set our commitment ‘voluntarily’.
  • LMDG wants new climate change agreement to be on above theme.
  • Obviously developed (rich) countries are against this LMDG group. Rich nations argue “China and India are growing so fast that by 2020 your LMDG gang’s greenhouse gas emission will be lot higher than us! You can’t keep holding us responsible forever!”

Loss and damage

  • One of the contentious issues in the COP19/Warsaw talks.
  • Extreme events because of climate change= typhoons, floods, drought etc.
  • Loss
    • Permanent. e.g. loss include loss of life, culture, livelihood, ecosystems, or territory.
    • Can be economic or non-economic (e.g loss of entire culture/tribal religion in a low lying island)
  • Damage
    • Repairable. e.g. deforestation and temperature rise.
  • In short- the Poor countries want Money from rich countries because rich countries caused climate change and poor countries suffering extreme weather/disasters because of them.
  • Demand grew because thousands died in Philippines by Typhoon Haiyan just as the COP-19 started.

But Developed countries donot want to admit any legal liability – after all, China and India are also rich (GDP wise), and emitting more greenhouse gas than many of the developed countries.


  • REDD+: Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation PLUS.
  • Under REDD+: Money comes from developed countries =>green climate fund=>developing countries=>national agencies.
  • It is a result based understanding/framework. Meaning, Developing country will have to prove the ‘result’ they have fought deforestation without harming local communities or biological diversity. Only then, they’ll get the Money.
  • REDD+ negotiations have been ongoing since 2005, finally @Warsaw talks 2013, the participating nations agreed for REDD+ mechanism.
  • UK, Norway and USA have already allocated $US280 million to a World Bank-led fund operating REDD projects.
REDD vs REDD+: What’s the difference?
Only UN UN’s REDD PLUS following

  1. Forest Carbon Partnership Facility: which is is a global partnership of governments, businesses, civil society, and Indigenous Peoples.
  2. World bank’s Forest Investment Program (FIP)
Just deforestation Deforestation PLUS following

  • sustainable management of forests
  • Increasing forest carbon stocks
  • Forest conservation


  • In all climate change talks- everything boils down to one thing: Money.
  • Earlier developed countries had promised to give $100 billion dollar fund for developing countries by the end of 2020.
  • But developed countries did not elaborate how they’ll come up with so much cash.
  • Poor countries wanted some cash in the meantime (2013-19): but this demand was rejected in Warsaw talk.

anyways, enough of the issues, let’s check India’s stand:

India’s stand @COP-19 Warsaw

We want CBDR

  • As usual, India called for CBDR: Common but Differentiated Responsibility.
  • We accept that UNFCCC Convention and the Kyoto Protocol are also applicable to all.
  • but this Universality does not mean uniformity. We’re against any legally binding commitments.
  • Developing countries should be provided the flexibility to choose their actions.
  • Rich nations should not to treat global warming issues with a business perspective of providing markets to their MNCs.

We’re not irresponsible

India reiterated @Warsaw that we’re not as irresponsible / evasive as rich nations portray us.
Consider some of the steps we’ve taken to combat climate change:

  • We’ve already made National Action Plan on Climate Change.
  • Under this NAPCC, we have launched eight missions in areas of energy efficiency, solar energy, sustainable habitat, water, forestry, sustaining the Himalayan ecosystem, agriculture and strategic knowledge for climate change.
  • Our states have also formed their plans and missions.
SOLAR We have set a target of generating 20,000 MW of solar power by2020Already achieved about 1200 mw presently.
  • We have also introduced an innovative trading mechanism(Namely PAT – Perform, Achieve and Trade)for energy efficiency.

(more given in one of my economic survey articles)

  • A National Clean energy Fund (NCEF)
  • Money comes from cess on coal of (Rs. 50 per tonne)
  • this Money is used for financing renewable energy and environment friendly projects.
  1. We’ve made “voluntary” commitment that we’ll reduce emissions intensity of our GDP by 20 to 25% by 2020 (compared with 2005 level.)
  2. We have also committed that our per capita emissions will not exceed those of the developed countries in future also.
  3. We’re large country with a very small carbon footprint. our per capita emission is only 1.7 tonnes per annum, despite our heavy dependence oil import, we’re committed to follow the path of sustainable development.

India’s stand on Agriculture vs climate change

  • India is against any mitigation mechanism to reduce emission from agriculture.
  • for example, if UNFCC gangmember comes up with some idea that all nations should stop paying urea subsidies or cheap electricity to their farmers or stop paying grants to slaughter houses etc=>

then India will oppose such ‘mitigation’ mechanism for agriculture

  • Because Majority of Indian junta depends on agriculture- poverty, food security angles (and ofcourse vote bank)
  • So, Instead of mitigation, India advocates ‘adaptation’ mechanisms to reduce emission from agriculture e.g. organic farming, watershed, sustainable development etc. but that too without any legally binding commitments or targets.
  • Same stand by China and some African countries.

India’s stand on Climate finance

India maintained that:

  1. Simply creating the institutional arrangements like Green Climate Fund does not help because they don’t have much Money.
  2. COP-19 conference needs to comeup with a clear roadmap on provision of finance for 2013-15, 2015-2017 and then up to 2020.
  3. Public finance should be the primary source of fund for climate finance. (US wants majority of Money should come from private companies, MNCs etc.)

India’s stand on HFC

  • Montreal Protocol (1987)= to phase out ozone depleting substances – chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) , hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) etc.
  • They were used as refrigerants, aerosol propellants, solvents, AC in building and vehicles, and fire retardants.
  • everyone including India banned those ozone depleting substances.
  • but then refrigeration/AC industries shifted to using Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) because
    • HFCs are cheap
    • HFCs are technically not an ozone depleting substance. Hence not covered under Montreal protocol

However they’re still potent greenhouse gases, with a warming effect much higher than carbon dioxide.

USA India
  • wants HFC matter to be covered under Montreal protocol
  • that way everyone, including India-China will have to ban HFCs.
  • wants HFC matter be kept under UNFCCC+Kyoto- then it’ll be mandatory only for the developed (rich) countries to phase out HFC gases.
  • And India/China won’t have legally binding responsibility=>their local industry will be saved.

India reiterated this HFC stand during COP-19 Warsaw talks.

India’s stand on Technology transfer

  • UNFCC wants developed countries to give (secret james bond) technology to developing countries – so they can combat climate change. But America is now reluctant. Instead of giving technology- USA wants to just promote investment in third world.
  • In that respect, Indian wanted that Green Climate fund (GCF) should give special funding to transfer IPR protected technology from rich to developing countries.
  • Because without Money and technology transfer, developing countries cannot carry out Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions NAMAs.

India’s stand on Misc. issues

  • we support the demand of poor countries for “Loss and damage”
  • We’re dismayed to see some rich countries (Japan, Canada and Australia) have rolled back from their earlier commitments about reducing Greenhouse gas emission.

Warsaw outcomes:

List not exhaustive
2015 Deal
  • In December 2015, we’ll hold a summit in Paris to outline what to do after 2020 (i.e. when Kyoto mechanism expires)
  • but before this Paris summit,
  • all countries must announce their plans before end of 1st quarter of 2015
  • about how they’ll curb greenhouse gas (GHG) emission beyond 2020
  • such national plans will be called “intended nationally determined contributions”. (Observe it doesn’t contain the word “commitment”- because India-China opposed that term)
Loss And Damage
  • agreement called the “Warsaw international mechanism for loss and damage (IMLD)”.
  • As per this agreement, disaster victims in developing country will receive aid from the developed countries. BUT it will not be linked with any liability /commitment.
  • will also provide expertise and aid, to help developing nations cope with extreme events related to climate change.
  • 2016: we’ll review the exact form of this mechanism.
Cash Merely urged developed nations to set “increasing levels” of aid to poor countries. but didn’t set any targets for 2013-19.
CDM @countries that donot have legally binding emission targets.we’ll encourage them to use carbon credits under CLEAN DEVELOPMENT MECHANISM (CDM)In 2014, we’ll hold a special technical meeting to iron out the details.
deforestation adopted REDD+ to combat deforestation.

Limitations/Criticism of Warsaw Talks/COP-19

  1. They contemplated over the post-2020 scenario but did not outline any near term actions (2013-19) to combat climate change.
  2. No mechanism on how $100 billion will come in 2020
  3. No special funding to poor countries for 2013-19 period.
  4. It’s all a useless exercise as long as the world’s prominent emitters India and China receive special treatment. Both act as a ‘firewall’ between rich and poor countries, refuse any legally binding commitments.
  5. More than 800 NGOs staged a walkout from the Warsaw talks because developed countries are making no firm commitments to combat climate change, and the corporate interests/lobbying are taking over the environmental interest.
  6. Japan’s “Gaddari” to UNFCC:
    • Earlier Japan had promised we’ll cut our emission by 25% (from 1990 levels)
    • But during this summit, Japan announced, “not possible!, we’ll infact increase our emission by ~3% compared to 1990 level”
    • Similarly, Canada and Australia also scaled down their targets.
  7. S.Africa’s “Gaddari” to BASIC:
    • Earlier S.Africa followed BASIC stand = We don’t want legally binding commitments to reduce Greenhouse gas emission
    • But recently S.Africa wrote an official letter to UNFCC that new climate change treaty should impose legally binding commitments.
  8. Russia’s “anger”
    • that UNFCC’s conferences are failing to be impartial- Not taking decisions based on consensus.
    • Instead a few vocal members tend to overshadow the proceedings.
  9. India’s “dissatisfaction” that
    • Rich nations are treating global warming issues with a “business perspective of providing markets to domestic companies”.
    • How rich nations — including Japan, Canada and Australia — to scale down ambition and lowering of targets of emissions.
    • How Green Climate fund is useless without any coffers.
  10. Mere Lip service to issues related to black carbon, agricultural methane, energy efficient buildings-equipment etc.

Mock Questions

Q1. Consider following statements about Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)

  1. HFCs are used as refrigerants, aerosol propellants, solvents, AC in buildings and vehicles.
  2. HFCs are ozone depleting substances.
  3. HFCs are greenhouse gases
  4. Use of HFCs is banned under Montreal protocol

The Correct statements are:

  1. only 1 and 2
  2. only 1 and 3
  3. only 1, 2 and 4
  4. all of them

Q2. Consider following statements about COP-19 under UNFCC

  1. This conference was held in Warsaw, Norway.
  2. During this conference, India opposed the “loss and damage” principle.
  3. led to conclusion of REDD+ agreement.
  4. Mandated all member countries to announce national plans before the end of 2013 to combat global warming.

The incorrect statements are:

  1. only 1 and 2
  2. only 3 and 4
  3. only 1, 2 and 4
  4. all of them

Descriptive Questions:
Write a short note on following:

  1. COP-19 UNFCC
  2. Warsaw international mechanism for loss and damage (IMLD).
  3. Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDG)
  4. REDD+ mechanism
  5. Briefly outline the initiatives taken by India to combat climate change in recent years.
  6. “Contrary to the perception among developed countries, India is seriously committed to combating global warming and climate change.” Elaborate.
  7. “At COP-19 summit in Warsaw, India has succeeded in safeguarding its interests.” Do you agree? Justify your stand.
  8. What are Hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs)? What is India’s stand on the usage of HFCs?