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134 developing countries warn of collapse in Paris if developed countries break convention over finance

The G77 group reminded that under UNFCCC, developed countries are obliged to provide financial resources to all developing countries

Nitin Sethi  |  New Delhi 

Nozipho Joyce Mxakato-Diseko, G77
Nozipho Joyce Mxakato-Diseko- Leader of the G77

One hundred and thirty-four countries, forming part of the G77+ China group, collectively and publicly condemned the moves of the developed nations to change the terms on which climate finance is to be delivered by the latter under the Paris agreement. They said such a move could lead to failure of the Paris summit.

Reacting to news of how the US and its allied countries in particular had tried to put all 196 countries on equal footing to contribute to climate finance, the developing country group, of which India is also a member, made a formal and strongly-worded statement against any attempt to rewrite the existing provisions of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on climate finance.

Nozipho Mxakato-Diseko, ambassador from South Africa and chair of the G77+China group, said, “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.”

She added, “The G77 and China is deeply concerned with the attempts to introduce economic conditions in the finance section currently under negotiation here in Paris. This approach is not consistent with the Convention, the mandate of the ADP (the track under which the Paris agreement is negotiated at the UN convention) and the sovereignty of Parties.”

The G77 group reminded that under the UNFCCC, developed countries are obliged to provide financial resources, including technology transfer and capacity building to all developing countries.

In language that is rather harsh by diplomatic standards, the group said, “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.”

It added, “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 not take into account responsibility for historical emissions.”

Diseko’s strong reaction, formulated with the approval of all 134 countries, only added to the growing concern in the negotiating halls that the developed countries had brought out such proposals with the particular purpose of log-jamming the negotiations in the first week.

Usually in this phase of talks when countries provide alternatives that help reach a compromise rather than take a harder position than the ones they had taken so far.

Any one doing so forces the opposing countries to also take a hard-line position, which is what had happened by Thursday in Paris on issues that developed countries did not show softer positions on. These were issues on which developed countries have obligations to deliver – finance, technology, adaptation and capacity building.

This was confirmed on Thursday morning as the first compiled negotiating text of the Paris agreement — drawn from the talks behind closed doors over past four days — was presented in public.

The 54-page draft of the Paris agreement, with which the countries had begun negotiating in Paris, had been scaled down by only four pages to 50. The document contained 859 pair of brackets – indicating disagreement between countries on 859 different phrases and sentences in the 50-page document.

The compiled text from this week of negotiations is now to be opened up to a collective review on Friday based on which it would then be turned into the penultimate draft. This would then be taken up at the ministerial level next week.

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First Published: Thu, December 03 2015. 23:46 IST