02 January 2016 07:17:33 IST

India begins work on accessing $100-b climate fund

Nabard in talks with States, ministries to identify projects that meet requirements for funding

The Centre has begun work on identifying climate change-related projects to access the $100-billion Green Climate Fund (GCF) created by developed countries as part of their commitment to help poorer countries reach their climate action goals.

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard), which has been appointed the National Implementing Entity (NIE), is in talks with States and ministries for identification and appraisal of green projects to see if they meet the requirements of the fund, an official from the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, told BusinessLine .

“The process of appointing a second NIE is on so that identification of projects for funding gets expedited,” the official said.

Developed countries have pledged to contribute $100 billion by 2020 to the GCF – a fund within the framework of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – to assist developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change.

While no project has been identified for funding yet, the Centre hopes to do so soon. “The GCF, with a total corpus of $100 billion, may not be a big amount given our total need of funding, but we should try and access whatever is available. Besides the funding is also likely to be enhanced,” the official said.

At the recent UN-sponsored Climate Change meet in Paris, where countries laid down individual goals of containing carbon emissions, rich countries pledged to increase funding after 2020, but no firm commitments were made on this account.

Since the GCF has already sanctioned eight projects in November (none of them from India), New Delhi is examining the criteria used for the approvals to formulate its own rules for project identification and sanction.

“Apart from assessing projects proposed by States, which have their elaborate State action plans on climate change, and Central ministries, that have their climate change missions, Nabard and the other NIE would be required to scout around for projects from the industry or institutes that may qualify for GCF funding,” the official said.

The projects, assessed and cleared by the NIEs, would be sent to the Environment Ministry for final approval before being placed before the GCF.

India has announced a target of 33-35 per cent reduction in its carbon emission intensity – noxious gasses emitted per unit of economic output – by 2030 from 2005 levels, as part of its commitment under the global climate action plan. An estimated $2.5 trillion of funds will be required to meet the target.