Paris COP21: Boost for developing countries in climate pact draft

Climate change

In what could be a major boost to India and other developing countries ahead of the climate change summit in Paris, the climate negotiators got their major suggestions inserted into the expanded draft text of the climate agreement during the meeting in Bonn on October 23. However, the road to a global climate deal in Paris does not appear to be easy as the latest negotiations could not help much in resolving the sticking points pertaining to climate finance.

Questions on the nature of contribution from rich countries and a debate on the issue of beneficiaries will be taken up by ministers of different countries to settle during the three-day pre-COP (conference of parties) meeting in Paris, which will be held from November 8-10.

Climate Finance & Green Fund

Developed countries want the emerging economies like India, Brazil and South Africa to contribute to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and stress on the point that money should go to poorer countries. The rich countries also want loans and existing overseas development assistance (ODA) to be counted as the climate finance, the points which were strongly opposed by G77 plus China during the five-day Bonn meeting that concluded on October 23. India is part of the134 developing countries, which accounts for over 80 percent of the world’s population.

While the countries will get another window to end their differences over the issue of finance when world leaders assemble in Turkey for the G20 meeting in mid-November ahead of the crucial Paris COP21 (conference of parties), the ministerial round will be important in deciding the approach needed to resolve the issue.

“Climate finance will be a sticky issue and I believe this is one of the main reasons for keeping observer organizations out of the negotiations (in Bonn). While the draft text does have many options to keep the core issues under the agreement, the developed countries continue to hope that this will be dealt with outside the agreement”, according to Arjuna Srinidhi of a Delhi-based think-tank Centre for Science and Environment (CSE)

Indian negotiators got their suggestion on the issue of ‘climate finance’ and ‘technology transfer’ inserted as one of the options under Article 7 of the expanded draft text. It wants the developing countries to be provided with cutting-edge environment friendly technology free of cost where the intellectual property rights (IPRs) issue can be addressed by the finance from the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

However, the developed countries have not provided any clear roadmap as how they would contribute to the GCF post 2020, which has been a major point of contention on climate finance. The developed countries want to keep the issue of ‘climate finance’ outside the agreement, while trying to use ODA as climate finance and account for loans in the same category.

The developed countries are prone to trot out grandiose plans on a long-term solution but are not clear on how they would implement it and make progress on this issue.

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