NEW DELHI (BLOOMBERG) - India is seeking payment for the losses caused by climate disasters, its environment ministry said while laying out the country's positions on critical issues that will be negotiated at the United Nations' COP26 climate summit in the coming weeks.
"Our ask is this: there should be a compensation for expenses incurred, and it should be borne by developed nations," Rameshwar Prasad Gupta, the ministry's senior-most civil servant, said on Friday (Oct 22).
He added that India stands with other low-income and developing countries on the matter.
Leaders and diplomats from across the globe are set to gather in Glasgow, Scotland, for the annual COP summit, which is seen as a make-or-break meeting to stave off the worsening effects of climate change.
Compensation for climate disasters is expected to be a major sticking point at the talks, and the subject is something that India has already raised with United States climate envoy John Kerry, according to Gupta.
Rich countries have added the majority of greenhouse gases causing the planet to warm above pre-industrial levels.
The 2015 Paris climate agreement included language to address "loss and damage," but it left questions about liability and redress unanswered.
Discussions began as early as 2013 at a previous summit in Warsaw, but the technical details of how such money transfers occur still hasn't been thrashed out.
The broad idea is that, based on historical contributions to global greenhouse gases, countries will provide compensation for the damages that pollution will one day cause.
Countries that suffer climate impacts can then lay claim to money for repairs after a climate-fueled hurricane or flood.
But not all disasters are caused by climate change, and scientists have only recently begun the hard work of being able to calculate how much a warmer planet contributed to an extreme weather event.
India is the world's third-largest emitter on an annual basis today and among the top 10 historical emitters, which means it too will have to contribute money into the pot.
Even if India's pay-in for damages were roughly 4 per cent, the country would stand to get a larger pay-out for the losses it will incur, Gup...