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Marrakech: Developed countries use rules to break the climate law

Skewed start to writing the rulebook for Paris Agreement by 2018

Nitin Sethi  |  New Delhi 

Earth, Greenery
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What is gained in scripting a law can be lost by making a rule. That was the lesson developing countries, including India, took back from the negotiations at Marrakech, which ended in the early hours of Saturday.

There was a second lesson. The President-elect is not the same as a President. All concerns about announcing that the would junk the talks came to nought. Still, under instructions from Barack Obama, the delegation continued to negotiate hard and tackle rough to further break down the wall of differentiated responsibilities between developing and rich countries. Other developed countries and allies worked hard alongside to do the same, as if the were there for the long haul in the agreement. And so did some of the US’ newfound friends on the developing country side of the game.

If the UN framework convention (UNFCCC) is the World’s Constitution for fighting that they all agreed to in 1992, the is the equivalent of a law that these 196 countries came up with in 2015. In that case, the talks in Morocco this year were to kick-start the scripting of the rules to the – a work that needs to be finished by the end of 2018. Then, the Paris Agreement, along with this rulebook, can be implemented starting 2020.

It’s a settled concept that rules are meant to facilitate the implementation of provisions of a law. But at the developed countries, led by the from the front, tried to use the rule-making process to subvert the law – the They notched some substantial successes. Their belligerence came as a surprise to many ill-prepared developing economies, including And, it exposed the brittle nature of the bonhomie world leaders had claimed between developing and developed countries after signing the last year.

Rules that broke the law

One of the biggest victories the rich nations were able to score at was in getting their report on climate finance acknowledged into the formal negotiations, despite claiming that it had used dubious accounting methods . Though the acknowledgement was not as black and white as the developed countries began by asking, the fact that it got inserted at all was shocking enough for most This report could now become one of the bases for defining climate finance. The countries had tried this last year at Paris as well and failed. But, they got away with it at
 
They also got ensured to a considerable extent that there would be little new action to reduce emissions or enhance climate funding till 2020.
 
The had demanded that the existing which provides funds to from the rich nations continue to live under the Paris Agreement unconditionally. They were able to keep the fund alive but with attached conditions that could constrict it or even eventually choke it by the time gets implemented.
 
Then there were a list of issues – some high on rich countries’ priorities and others on the developing country priority list – that needed to be sorted out. If not kept alive at (or given a home as delegates called it) and maintained at parity with other elements of the Paris Agreement, these were likely to fall off the table in coming years and fade out of existence by 2020.

For example, for one of these priority issues was to have a process for setting a new collective quantified goal on climate finance. For developed countries it was to have a common time frames in which countries revise their targets periodically under The and other were able to get this priority listed at a higher level than rest though and fought hard that their priorities do not disappear entirely at itself. “We lived to fight another day on these,” explained one negotiator speaking metaphorically.

at Marrakech
 
The NDA government’s own pet phrases for at the climate talks had little takers though. ‘Climate Justice’ did not find a mention. Nor did India’s demand that developed countries adjust their lifestyles to reduce their emissions considerably.
The rulebook writing process had little space to begin with for injecting the rhetoric the Indian political leadership desired openly and naively at Even the reference to the long standing principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities could find a very nominal space in the political statement called the Marrakech Action Proclamation. This too the rather depleted and underequipped team of negotiators had to fight very hard and very long to retain.
 
As journalists and others at the climate talks commented in public and in corridors, spent considerable effort and energy in promoting its pavilion at the convention hall and then feeling proud that it was one of the best. Its International Solar Alliance launch too worked as a distraction. But its actual negotiating team at the Moroccan capital remained strained for human-power and greater political leadership. A sign of that came when was often found missing from crucial closed door and parallel talks on climate finance – something it had fought hard for last year along with and Saudi Arabia to keep in favour of  

But at had to also deal with the fact that the had become less coherent than ever before. It comprises of South Africa, Brazil, and and stumped the EU in 2009 by becoming the group of big developing economies that collectively bargained with the at Copenhagen to shape the new climate regime. But, South Africa drifted somewhat away from others in its national interest even before At Morocco, Brazil did so more dramatically, demonstrating that its national interest and political alignments at climate talks had turned closer to those of the rather than those of other emerging economies in the
 
The next two years are set to be more acrimonious than 2016 as the details of the rulebook get discussed threadbare. As is always the case, the issues that were the most difficult to resolve at Paris have been all put on the plate for 2017 and 2018 to resolve. The next two years would be politically as low-key as which may make political leaderships of take it easy. India’s flip flop on ratification and then the weak political preparation this year showed what the consequence can be. A repeat over next two years could land in a regime where the provisions of the may say the right things but its implementation would mean lead to just the reverse. The rules could un-write the law.

Key results of Climate talks: 

1. Rich countries could now dictate the definition of climate finance for flows under starting 2020.

2. The road map for rich countries to provide $ 100 billion annually starting 2020 looks more dubious than before.

3. No space for deeper emission reductions or increased climate finance by rich countries before 2020.

4. for poor countries to continue under but choked by conditions that will be imposed in coming years.

5. Principles of equity and differentiated responsibilities remain on table but no progress on operationalizing them in the rulebook.

6. The entire rule book for to be finalised by 2018 for the pact to be operationalized by 2020.

7. India’s call for ‘Climate Justice’ finds no placeholder.

8. unable to find even a rhetorical entry for ‘lifestyle issues’ at

9. as President-elect did not impact Morocco talks.

10. Trump as the President could potentially still harm the badly by either walking out or remaining part of the climate pact.

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Marrakech: Developed countries use rules to break the climate law

Skewed start to writing the rulebook for Paris Agreement by 2018

Skewed start to writing the rulebook for Paris Agreement by 2018
What is gained in scripting a law can be lost by making a rule. That was the lesson developing countries, including India, took back from the negotiations at Marrakech, which ended in the early hours of Saturday.

There was a second lesson. The President-elect is not the same as a President. All concerns about announcing that the would junk the talks came to nought. Still, under instructions from Barack Obama, the delegation continued to negotiate hard and tackle rough to further break down the wall of differentiated responsibilities between developing and rich countries. Other developed countries and allies worked hard alongside to do the same, as if the were there for the long haul in the agreement. And so did some of the US’ newfound friends on the developing country side of the game.

If the UN framework convention (UNFCCC) is the World’s Constitution for fighting that they all agreed to in 1992, the is the equivalent of a law that these 196 countries came up with in 2015. In that case, the talks in Morocco this year were to kick-start the scripting of the rules to the – a work that needs to be finished by the end of 2018. Then, the Paris Agreement, along with this rulebook, can be implemented starting 2020.

It’s a settled concept that rules are meant to facilitate the implementation of provisions of a law. But at the developed countries, led by the from the front, tried to use the rule-making process to subvert the law – the They notched some substantial successes. Their belligerence came as a surprise to many ill-prepared developing economies, including And, it exposed the brittle nature of the bonhomie world leaders had claimed between developing and developed countries after signing the last year.

Rules that broke the law

One of the biggest victories the rich nations were able to score at was in getting their report on climate finance acknowledged into the formal negotiations, despite claiming that it had used dubious accounting methods . Though the acknowledgement was not as black and white as the developed countries began by asking, the fact that it got inserted at all was shocking enough for most This report could now become one of the bases for defining climate finance. The countries had tried this last year at Paris as well and failed. But, they got away with it at
 
They also got ensured to a considerable extent that there would be little new action to reduce emissions or enhance climate funding till 2020.
 
The had demanded that the existing which provides funds to from the rich nations continue to live under the Paris Agreement unconditionally. They were able to keep the fund alive but with attached conditions that could constrict it or even eventually choke it by the time gets implemented.
 
Then there were a list of issues – some high on rich countries’ priorities and others on the developing country priority list – that needed to be sorted out. If not kept alive at (or given a home as delegates called it) and maintained at parity with other elements of the Paris Agreement, these were likely to fall off the table in coming years and fade out of existence by 2020.

For example, for one of these priority issues was to have a process for setting a new collective quantified goal on climate finance. For developed countries it was to have a common time frames in which countries revise their targets periodically under The and other were able to get this priority listed at a higher level than rest though and fought hard that their priorities do not disappear entirely at itself. “We lived to fight another day on these,” explained one negotiator speaking metaphorically.

at Marrakech
 
The NDA government’s own pet phrases for at the climate talks had little takers though. ‘Climate Justice’ did not find a mention. Nor did India’s demand that developed countries adjust their lifestyles to reduce their emissions considerably.
The rulebook writing process had little space to begin with for injecting the rhetoric the Indian political leadership desired openly and naively at Even the reference to the long standing principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities could find a very nominal space in the political statement called the Marrakech Action Proclamation. This too the rather depleted and underequipped team of negotiators had to fight very hard and very long to retain.
 
As journalists and others at the climate talks commented in public and in corridors, spent considerable effort and energy in promoting its pavilion at the convention hall and then feeling proud that it was one of the best. Its International Solar Alliance launch too worked as a distraction. But its actual negotiating team at the Moroccan capital remained strained for human-power and greater political leadership. A sign of that came when was often found missing from crucial closed door and parallel talks on climate finance – something it had fought hard for last year along with and Saudi Arabia to keep in favour of  

But at had to also deal with the fact that the had become less coherent than ever before. It comprises of South Africa, Brazil, and and stumped the EU in 2009 by becoming the group of big developing economies that collectively bargained with the at Copenhagen to shape the new climate regime. But, South Africa drifted somewhat away from others in its national interest even before At Morocco, Brazil did so more dramatically, demonstrating that its national interest and political alignments at climate talks had turned closer to those of the rather than those of other emerging economies in the
 
The next two years are set to be more acrimonious than 2016 as the details of the rulebook get discussed threadbare. As is always the case, the issues that were the most difficult to resolve at Paris have been all put on the plate for 2017 and 2018 to resolve. The next two years would be politically as low-key as which may make political leaderships of take it easy. India’s flip flop on ratification and then the weak political preparation this year showed what the consequence can be. A repeat over next two years could land in a regime where the provisions of the may say the right things but its implementation would mean lead to just the reverse. The rules could un-write the law.

Key results of Climate talks: 

1. Rich countries could now dictate the definition of climate finance for flows under starting 2020.

2. The road map for rich countries to provide $ 100 billion annually starting 2020 looks more dubious than before.

3. No space for deeper emission reductions or increased climate finance by rich countries before 2020.

4. for poor countries to continue under but choked by conditions that will be imposed in coming years.

5. Principles of equity and differentiated responsibilities remain on table but no progress on operationalizing them in the rulebook.

6. The entire rule book for to be finalised by 2018 for the pact to be operationalized by 2020.

7. India’s call for ‘Climate Justice’ finds no placeholder.

8. unable to find even a rhetorical entry for ‘lifestyle issues’ at

9. as President-elect did not impact Morocco talks.

10. Trump as the President could potentially still harm the badly by either walking out or remaining part of the climate pact.

image
Business Standard
177 22

Marrakech: Developed countries use rules to break the climate law

Skewed start to writing the rulebook for Paris Agreement by 2018

What is gained in scripting a law can be lost by making a rule. That was the lesson developing countries, including India, took back from the negotiations at Marrakech, which ended in the early hours of Saturday.

There was a second lesson. The President-elect is not the same as a President. All concerns about announcing that the would junk the talks came to nought. Still, under instructions from Barack Obama, the delegation continued to negotiate hard and tackle rough to further break down the wall of differentiated responsibilities between developing and rich countries. Other developed countries and allies worked hard alongside to do the same, as if the were there for the long haul in the agreement. And so did some of the US’ newfound friends on the developing country side of the game.

If the UN framework convention (UNFCCC) is the World’s Constitution for fighting that they all agreed to in 1992, the is the equivalent of a law that these 196 countries came up with in 2015. In that case, the talks in Morocco this year were to kick-start the scripting of the rules to the – a work that needs to be finished by the end of 2018. Then, the Paris Agreement, along with this rulebook, can be implemented starting 2020.

It’s a settled concept that rules are meant to facilitate the implementation of provisions of a law. But at the developed countries, led by the from the front, tried to use the rule-making process to subvert the law – the They notched some substantial successes. Their belligerence came as a surprise to many ill-prepared developing economies, including And, it exposed the brittle nature of the bonhomie world leaders had claimed between developing and developed countries after signing the last year.

Rules that broke the law

One of the biggest victories the rich nations were able to score at was in getting their report on climate finance acknowledged into the formal negotiations, despite claiming that it had used dubious accounting methods . Though the acknowledgement was not as black and white as the developed countries began by asking, the fact that it got inserted at all was shocking enough for most This report could now become one of the bases for defining climate finance. The countries had tried this last year at Paris as well and failed. But, they got away with it at
 
They also got ensured to a considerable extent that there would be little new action to reduce emissions or enhance climate funding till 2020.
 
The had demanded that the existing which provides funds to from the rich nations continue to live under the Paris Agreement unconditionally. They were able to keep the fund alive but with attached conditions that could constrict it or even eventually choke it by the time gets implemented.
 
Then there were a list of issues – some high on rich countries’ priorities and others on the developing country priority list – that needed to be sorted out. If not kept alive at (or given a home as delegates called it) and maintained at parity with other elements of the Paris Agreement, these were likely to fall off the table in coming years and fade out of existence by 2020.

For example, for one of these priority issues was to have a process for setting a new collective quantified goal on climate finance. For developed countries it was to have a common time frames in which countries revise their targets periodically under The and other were able to get this priority listed at a higher level than rest though and fought hard that their priorities do not disappear entirely at itself. “We lived to fight another day on these,” explained one negotiator speaking metaphorically.

at Marrakech
 
The NDA government’s own pet phrases for at the climate talks had little takers though. ‘Climate Justice’ did not find a mention. Nor did India’s demand that developed countries adjust their lifestyles to reduce their emissions considerably.
The rulebook writing process had little space to begin with for injecting the rhetoric the Indian political leadership desired openly and naively at Even the reference to the long standing principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities could find a very nominal space in the political statement called the Marrakech Action Proclamation. This too the rather depleted and underequipped team of negotiators had to fight very hard and very long to retain.
 
As journalists and others at the climate talks commented in public and in corridors, spent considerable effort and energy in promoting its pavilion at the convention hall and then feeling proud that it was one of the best. Its International Solar Alliance launch too worked as a distraction. But its actual negotiating team at the Moroccan capital remained strained for human-power and greater political leadership. A sign of that came when was often found missing from crucial closed door and parallel talks on climate finance – something it had fought hard for last year along with and Saudi Arabia to keep in favour of  

But at had to also deal with the fact that the had become less coherent than ever before. It comprises of South Africa, Brazil, and and stumped the EU in 2009 by becoming the group of big developing economies that collectively bargained with the at Copenhagen to shape the new climate regime. But, South Africa drifted somewhat away from others in its national interest even before At Morocco, Brazil did so more dramatically, demonstrating that its national interest and political alignments at climate talks had turned closer to those of the rather than those of other emerging economies in the
 
The next two years are set to be more acrimonious than 2016 as the details of the rulebook get discussed threadbare. As is always the case, the issues that were the most difficult to resolve at Paris have been all put on the plate for 2017 and 2018 to resolve. The next two years would be politically as low-key as which may make political leaderships of take it easy. India’s flip flop on ratification and then the weak political preparation this year showed what the consequence can be. A repeat over next two years could land in a regime where the provisions of the may say the right things but its implementation would mean lead to just the reverse. The rules could un-write the law.

Key results of Climate talks: 

1. Rich countries could now dictate the definition of climate finance for flows under starting 2020.

2. The road map for rich countries to provide $ 100 billion annually starting 2020 looks more dubious than before.

3. No space for deeper emission reductions or increased climate finance by rich countries before 2020.

4. for poor countries to continue under but choked by conditions that will be imposed in coming years.

5. Principles of equity and differentiated responsibilities remain on table but no progress on operationalizing them in the rulebook.

6. The entire rule book for to be finalised by 2018 for the pact to be operationalized by 2020.

7. India’s call for ‘Climate Justice’ finds no placeholder.

8. unable to find even a rhetorical entry for ‘lifestyle issues’ at

9. as President-elect did not impact Morocco talks.

10. Trump as the President could potentially still harm the badly by either walking out or remaining part of the climate pact.

image
Business Standard
177 22