A Chapter on Climate Change to be Included in the Forthcoming Economic Survey of India

Shri R.Gopalan, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance said that in order to deal with the issue of Climate change and with the consequences, we will need not only enormous resources but also changes in our lifestyle especially among the better off and livelihood security for the less well off. Shri Gopalan was delivering the Inaugural Address at the Workshop on Climate Change Financing. The workshop was jointly organized by the Climate Change Finance Unit of the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance along with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The inauguration of the Workshop was also attended by Mr Patrice Coeur-Bizot, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Dr Kaushik Basu, Chief Economic Adviser(CEA), Ministry of Finance, Shri J.M Mauskar, Special Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India and Dr Dipak Dasgupta, Principal Economic Advisor, Ministry of Finance among others .

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Kaushik Basu, Chief Economic Adviser, Ministry of Finance said that the problem of global commons has been around not just today, but also earlier. The challenge is for building knowledge and cooperative institutions, he added.

Judiciously placed, at the brink of launching India™s 12th Five Year Plan and post Durban Conference, this workshop marked the second initiative of the recently set-up Climate Change Finance Unit in the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance in bringing together policy makers, Members of Parliament(MPs), professionals and academicians to deliberate on a range of issues on Climate Change Financing, spread across the four sessions of the workshop. The consultations would provide important inputs for the chapter focused on Climate Change in the forthcoming Economic Survey of India, as for the first time ever, an entire chapter would be devoted on this subject. The sessions focused on national priorities for addressing climate change, the role of private sector in generating funds to enable a lower carbon trajectory; and the role of the state and civil society in ensuring equitable and sustainable outcomes that do not pass on mitigation and adaptation costs to vulnerable communities. A key outcome of the workshop was better understanding of the financial issues related to climate change, at the domestic and the international level.

Shri Mauskar, Special Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests explained that India will encounter high cost in taking necessary steps for climate change mitigation and adaptation. He said that some financial mechanisms may enable mitigation costs to be borne by the private sector but this will be eventually passed on to the consumers. However the cost of adaptation needs to be borne entirely by public finances, making global financial transfers (grants, low interest loans) highly relevant, he added.

Participating in the scientific frontiers session, Dr R.K.Pachauri, Director General,TERI as well as Dr B.Mungekar, Member of Parliament(Rajya Sabha) stressed the key issues of equity and using knowledge to deal with climate change.

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