India and China issued a joint statement on climate change on 15 May on the occasion of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to China.
In the statement issued, the two governments recognized that “climate change and its adverse effects are the common concern of mankind and one of the greatest global challenges of the 21st century, which needs to be addressed through international cooperation in the context of sustainable development”.
Recalling their bilateral agreement on cooperation on addressing climate change signed in 2009 and the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation on green technologies signed in 2010 the two countries have decided to “further promote bilateral partnership on climate change and enhance the role of this partnership in their overall strategic cooperation partnership through the implementation of this Joint Statement and the MoU as well as the Agreement”.
The two countries have emphasized that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) remains the “most appropriate framework for international cooperation” to address climate change. They reaffirmed the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and called for the leadership of developed countries in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and providing finance, technology and capacity building support to developing countries.
The statement also said that China and India would work together, along with other countries, and advance multilateral negotiations under the UNFCCC “to achieve a comprehensive, balanced, equitable and effective agreement under the UNFCCC in 2015, with a view to ensuring the full, effective and sustained implementation of the UNFCCC”. They expressed their full support for the success of the Conference of Parties (COP) to be held in Paris this year.
The countries reaffirmed that the 2015 agreement “shall be in full accordance with the principles, provisions and structure of the UNFCCC, in particular the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, reflecting different historical responsibilities, development stages and national circumstances between developed and developing countries”. The 2015 agreement shall address all the pillars: “mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology development and transfer, capacity building and transparency of action and support in a comprehensive and balanced manner,” according to the joint statement.
To increase the pre-2020 ambition and build mutual trust among countries, the countries stressed the equal importance and urgency of implementing the outcomes of the Bali Road Map (enhanced implementation of the UNFCCC and the second commitment period of greenhouse gases emissions reduction by developed countries under the Kyoto Protocol). The countries urged the “developed countries to raise their pre-2020 emission reduction targets and honour their commitment to provide 100bn US dollars per year by 2020 to developing countries”.
The statement further said that as the two biggest developing countries, China and India are undertaking ambitious actions domestically to combat climate change through “plans, policies and measures on mitigation and adaptation despite the enormous scale of their challenges in terms of social and economic development and poverty eradication”.
The countries also said that they are fully engaged in their “domestic preparations for their respective intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) in the context of the 2015 agreement and will communicate their INDCs as early as possible and well before the Paris Conference”.
Referring to their bilateral partnership as “mutually beneficial”, they also said that it contributes to the global efforts to address climate change. They have decided to “enhance high-level bilateral dialogue on domestic climate policies and multilateral negotiations and to further strengthen practical bilateral cooperation, including in areas of clean energy technologies, energy conservation, energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable transportation including electronic vehicles, low-carbon urbanization and adaptation”.