Big win for India and developing countries in COP 23 

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The lost agenda in Climate Change negotiations at Twenty Third Conference of Parties (COP 23) on ambitious pre-2020 mitigation action by developed countries was redeemed with efforts by India, China and other developing countries. Many of the proposals floated by India as part of Like Minded Developing Countries (LMDC) were agreed upon by the COP Presidency and found a place in the draft decision text.

A strong message was communicated to the developed countries that post-2020 climate action as part of the Paris Agreement cannot be divorced from pre-2020 commitments. Failure by developed countries to act on previous COP decisions will undermine the integrity of the UNFCCC process and unduly burden the developing countries to do more than their fair share in the post 2020 era.

Early entry into force of second commitment period of Kyoto Protocol (KP II) is at the heart of pre-2020 discussions, which entails revisit of greenhouse gas mitigation targets by developed countries and provision of finance, technology and capacity building support to developing countries. Although this agenda has a significant bearing on developing countries and has been under discussion since 2007, it has slowly been relegated to the background.

Strong voices of concern by developing countries prompted the COP Presidency to recognize their concerns and call for early ratification of KP II and consult United Nations Secretary General to encourage it. The draft texts addresses the key ask from India on a mid-2018 deadline for this process. Other important decisions include a periodic stocktake of pre-2020 implementation and ambition at COP 24 in 2018 and COP 25 in 2019.

The year 2018 is an important year for Climate Change negotiations as it will help finalize the Paris Agreement rulebook and perhaps will also be the last opportunity to close the emissions gap by developed countries. In this regard, the scope of the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue has been expanded from taking stock of collective efforts for the long-term mitigation goal and inform the preparation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to considering pre 2020 action and support as well.

It is expected that the 2018 Facilitate Dialogue will focus on closing the emissions gap so as to have a better starting point in 2020 for the implementation of the Paris Agreement.