Approach of rich nations threatens an outcome at climate summit, says G77 and China group

PARIS: The issue of climate finance continues to be a major sticky point with the G77 and China, a group of 134 developing countries including India, strongly objecting to the attempts made by the rich nations to dilute the Convention that sought the developed countries to extend support to their poor counterparts. The Group said the approach of the developed countries threatened an outcome of the summit in the French capital.

“The G77 and China is deeply concerned with the attempts to introduce economic conditions in the finance section currently under negotiation here in Paris”, said ambassador Nozipho Mxakato-Diseko from South Africa while making her statement on behalf of the biggest group of developing countries.

She said, “This approach is not consistent with the Convention, the mandate of the ADP and the sovereignty of Parties. Any attempt to replace the core obligation of developed countries to provide financial support to developing countries with a number of arbitrarily identified economic conditions is a violation of the rules-based multilateral process and threatens an outcome here in Paris”.

The Group expressed its concerns over the narrative which suggests that the world has changed since the UNFCCC was adopted in 1992 due to the dramatic economic development gains of some of the developing countries (China, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and UAE among others) and hence that it is time to expand the pool of so-called “donors” of climate “aid” and to narrow the list of those eligible to receive this
“support” to only the “poorest of the poor”.

“This narrative serves narrow national interests of developed countries and says little about reality. If the world has really changed so much, we ask why it is that after all these decades all our members remain developing countries with little or no voice in global decision-making processes and institutions”, said the ambassador.

The G77 and China stressed that nothing under the UNFCCC can be achieved without the provision of means of implementation to enable developing countries to play their part to address climate change.

Mxakato-Diseko said that the clarity on the complete picture of the financial arrangements for the enhanced implementation of the Convention kept on eluding the Group.

“We believe that it will help the process if all matters related to finance, whether it is under the Convention, the Kyoto Protocol and under the ADP (Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action) can be discussed in a comprehensive and coherent manner, regardless of where they will be reflected in the end, whether in the decision or the agreement”, she said.

The Group also emphasized that it is now time for all developed countries to convert their pledges to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) into contribution agreements, as well as scaling up commitments in the ADP process.

Under the Convention, developed countries are obliged toprovide financial resources, including technology transfer and capacity building to all developing countries.

This is a legal obligation under the Convention. It is neither aid nor charity, nor is it the same as development assistance. Finance support from developed countries relates to the impacts of historical emissions, which will only get worse with time for developing countries.

The Group is therefore concerned about the introduction of new language, which has no basis in the Convention, such as “Parties in a position to do so” and “dynamism” that do no take into account responsibility for historical emissions.

The Group also made it clear that the differentiation is not just a finance issue, but about the overall Paris outcome. “The specific outcomes on finance must also not impose on our sovereignty and should not override or displace the zero poverty goals”, said the South African ambassador on behalf of the G77 and China.

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