Road map for Talanoa Dialogue

Road map for Talanoa Dialogue
Highlights

The Talanoa Dialogue of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, beginning this month, will facilitate the parties to take stock of progress post-Paris.

The Talanoa Dialogue of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, beginning this month, will facilitate the parties to take stock of progress post-Paris.

As a key player in international climate governance, India could set the precedent in deepening the dialogue process through an action-oriented, inclusive, bottom-up approach, involving extensive participation and collaboration of its States. The UNFCCC Climate Change Conference (COP23) was held in Bonn, Germany and was presided over by Government of Fiji. It concluded with countries putting in place a road-map for ‘Talanoa Dialogue’, a year-long process to assess countries’ progress on climate actions.

The Conference also made progress on framing rules for implementing 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change and brought rich nations on board on their pre-2020 commitments as demanded by developing nations.

Key Highlights of COP23

1. The conference provided countries around world took opportunity to showcase their actions taken to fulfill pledges under landmark 2015 Paris agreement as well as took other decisions including ‘Talanoa Dialogue’.
2. It also made progress on framing rules for implementing Paris Agreement post-2020 and brought rich nations on board to walk the talk on pre-2020 commitments. However, the differences over climate financing continued.
3. The Conference seems to have left some room for satisfaction with the following:
i. Alliances were formed for phasing out coal
ii. Decision to putting up green buildings and accelerating eco-mobility
iii. Recognising gender in dealing with the issue, in a Gender Action Plan
iv. Decision to get indigenous people (adivasis) have a say in climate talks
v. Decision to look into the greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture
4. Above all, the developing countries stood as a solid bloc demanding a balanced deal.
5. The key demands centred on getting agreed upon and including in the official agenda the ‘pre-2020 actions’.
6. This is mainly in reference to the obligations of the developed countries under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol that still has three years to run.
7. There was also a demand for fixing a deadline for the ratification of 2012 Doha amendments to the Kyoto Protocol to give a legal shape to the ‘pre-2020’ commitments.
8. An important outcome of CoP 23 is the 'Talanoa Dialogue'.
Talanoa dialogue
9. Talanoa is a traditional approach used in Fiji and the Pacific to engage in an inclusive, participatory and transparent dialogue;
10. The purpose of Talanoa is to share stories, build empathy and trust;
11. During the process, participants advance their knowledge through common understanding;
12. It creates a platform of dialogue, which results in better decision-making for the collective good;
13. By focusing on the benefits of collective action, this process will inform decision-making and move the global climate agenda forward.

Obligations under Kyoto Protocol

1. The COP23 outlined what all the rich nations need to do as far as their pre-2020 actions under Kyoto Protocol are concerned.
2. It was crucial demand of developing countries.
3. The pre-2020 actions refer to existing obligations of small group rich and developed nations to take mitigation actions under Kyoto Protocol.
4. On the other hand, post-2020 actions are meant for all countries as per their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) under 2015 Paris Agreement.
5. The significance of Talanoa dialogue
6. The goal of the Paris Agreement on climate change, as agreed at the Conference of the Parties in 2015, is to keep global temperature rise this century to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. It also calls for efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
7. The UN Environment Emissions Gap Report 2017 (Eighth) presents an assessment of current national mitigation efforts and the ambitions countries have presented in their Nationally Determined Contributions, which form the foundation of the Paris Agreement.
8. The report underlined that the foundation of the Paris Agreement cover only approximately one third of the emissions reductions needed to be on a least cost pathway for the goal of staying well below 2°C. The gap between the reductions needed and the national pledges made in Paris is alarmingly high.
9. Hence more ambitious NDCs will be necessary by 2020 and should build on the existing, extensive knowledge about the cost-effective policies and measures that can be taken.
10. As per COP23 decision, Talanoa Dialogue has been structured around three questions to arrive at answers with consensus:
11. Where are we?
12. Where do we want to go? How do we get there?

India’s role

1. As a key player in international climate governance, India could set the precedent in deepening the dialogue process through an action-oriented, inclusive, bottom-up approach, involving extensive participation and collaboration of its States.
2. In a federal democracy like India, subnationals or States are a vital part of the grand coalition between the Centre, civil society, businesses, and key climate stakeholders.
3. India’s State Action Plan on Climate Change supports the integration of national climate change goals into subnational policies.
4. India has committed to meet its current target of 33% reduction in emission intensity of the 2005 level by 2030, by generating 40% of its energy from renewables. States are important for the realisation of this goal.

Role of States in India

1. Enhancing climate actions is expected to involve routine engagement of the States in the international process. The Under2 Coalition, a Memorandum of Understanding by subnational governments to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions towards net-zero by 2050, is generating a unique precedent for bold climate leadership, with its member states and regions surpassing 200 in number.
2. Currently, Telangana and Chhattisgarh are signatories to this pact from India, as compared to representations from the other top emitters: 26 subnational governments in China and 24 in the U.S. Greater representation of Indian States is crucial.
3. It is equally imperative to examine the progress of subnational actions in meeting national climate targets. Towards this end, both national and State plans would need to be periodically reassessed and reviewed. A transparent framework for review, audit and monitoring of GHG emissions is needed.
4. As State capacities vary significantly, the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities should be applied to allocate mitigation targets in different States, based on the principle of equity.States have enormous mitigation potential, but the evidence pertaining to its effectiveness is still scarce.
5. Therefore, India must look towards creating knowledge action networks and partnerships under both national and State action plan frameworks. Kerala has taken the lead to build such a knowledge network funded by the National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change.
6. Routine engagement of the States is crucial to India’s climate action commitments.
7. In a federal democracy like India, sub nationals or States are a vital part of the grand coalition between the Centre, civil society, businesses, and key climate stakeholders.
8. India’s State Action Plan on Climate Change supports the integration of national climate change goals into subnational policies.
9. India has committed to meet its current target of 33% reduction in emission intensity of the 2005 level by 2030, by generating 40% of its energy from renewables. States are important for the realisation of this goal.

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