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Ministry sets up finance unit for climate change issues

According to reports, a new climate change finance unit has been set up under the aegis of the Finance Ministry, Dr Kaushik Basu, Chief Economic Advisor to the Finance Ministry.

The idea behind setting up this unit was to bring stronger analytical thinking on a subject of growing importance, Dr Basu said at a roundtable event here on Wednesday.

He said that India was already engaged in international negotiations on climate change. “We have voluntarily pledged to reduce our carbon emission intensity. We have to deal with the consequences of global warming at home,” he added.

Dr Basu underscored the need for changes to the micro-economic incentives to enable India to switch to a low carbon growth economy. This assumes significance considering the fact that developing countries are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

He also promised an expanded coverage on climate change in the next year’s edition of Economic Survey. For the first-time, the Economic Survey released in February had a dedicated section on climate change.

The Economic Affairs Secretary, Mr R. Gopalan, said that the 12’th Plan will have as one of its key pillars a low carbon growth strategy. “One must bear in mind these actions are voluntarily proposed despite the fact that India does not have legally binding commitment under the global climate change regime,” he said.

He underscored the need for State governments and local bodies to also be a part of the climate change response. Mr Gopalan noted that various central ministries had already formed units to address climate change issues.

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