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Climate justice at heart of tackling climate change: Indian Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav

Climate justice at heart of tackling climate change: Indian Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav

Bhupender Yadav, India’s Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, underscored the importance of climate justice during India Global Forum’s Climate for Business (ClimB) Forum at IGF Middle East & Africa in Dubai this week.

Just as the COP28 climate action summit gets underway in the UAE, the senior Cabinet minister pointed out that just 17 per cent of the developed world has a per capital emission of 60 per cent and 54 African countries account for only 4 per cent emissions. The minister also called upon COP28 to focus on increasing the funds for global adaptation practices.

He said: “When we talk about the climate change, we must talk about the climate justice also. It is important to give a dignified life to every human being, and to recognise that every country has a right to development.

“The promise by developed countries to provide a hundred billion dollars in finance has not been fulfilled till today. So where will the trust come from?”

IGF’s ClimB Forum, strategically timed on the eve of the COP 28 Summit in Dubai, explored the convergence of climate leadership, clean energy, policy strategies and green financing for the promotion of sustainable economic growth, and the critical role of technology and innovation in addressing the far-reaching impacts of climate change.

Commonwealth Secretary-General Baroness Patricia Scotland highlighted the existential threat climate change posed to vulnerable nations.

Baroness Scotland said: “The world accepted that Covid presented an existential threat to us all, and we responded, we acted, we came together and we fought it. The threat that climate poses is actually an even greater threat and what is really quite curious is, why aren't we now responding with the same urgency, with the same rigour and the same vigour.

“If you look at where we are now, human genius, got us into this mess… and human genius will have to get us out of this mess.”

The challenges around climate financing and discrimination faced by developing countries were recurring themes that emerged throughout the day.

Highlighting global inequity, Kate Hampton, CEO of The Children's Investment Fund Foundation, noted: “Look at the cost of capital that is faced by developing countries relative to advanced economies. Unless we bring that cost of capital down, countries and communities will find it difficult to invest in climate mitigation, but also in resilience because a lot of green solutions have a high upfront cost.”

Deepali Khanna, Vice President Asia, the Rockefeller Foundation, added: “Where a lot more needs to be done is the commitments that have been made so far. When you're looking at developed countries, the hundred billion dollars that we need to be flowing, is really is the need of the hour.  Developing countries need the resources, they need the capacity to be able to absorb this finance as well as get the finance for everything that they need to do.”

IGF ME&A 2023 (November 26-29) convened business leaders, policymakers, and thought leaders from India, the UAE and Africa to discuss opportunities for further collaboration and growth between these regions through a series of exclusive networking opportunities, panel discussions, and keynote speeches, covering a range of topics including trade, investment, innovation, technology, and sustainability.

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