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Rich countries eroding confidence in the Paris Agreement: India and China

Along with other members of the LMDC group, they demand detailed rules on climate finance flows

Nitin Sethi  |  New Delhi 

Illustration by Binay Sinha
Illustration by Binay Sinha

India, China and other countries in the Like-Minded Developing Country group put forth their priorities on the first day of the UN Conference on that kicked-off on December 2 in Katowice,

They pointed out that the developed countries were refusing to engage with particular provisions of the that are important for developing countries – climate finance, technology and adaptation.

Their intervention came after parleys behind closed doors over the weekend indicating that large differences persist between developed and developing countries on the shape and contents of the rulebook to the The Katowice talks are required to finish writing the rulebook in two weeks.

Speaking on behalf of the LMDC group, Iranian negotiator, Majid Shafiepour, said, “When developed countries do not want to talk modalities for ex ante information on finance under article 9.5 of the Paris Agreement, or when they do not meaningfully engage in the technology transfer discussions, they send a clear signal that developed countries are not interested in helping developing countries and fulfilling their long-standing commitments. This is not conducive to trust-building and erodes confidence.”

He was referring to the joint demand by the African Group of Nations, (AGN, comprising negotiators from all African countries), the Arab Group and the LMDC. These three groups of countries have demanded that rich nations detail out in advance in a structured manner how they will provide climate finance to the developing countries starting 2021. They also demand that the rulebook to explicitly mention how this information would be reviewed and acted upon by all.

At the multilateral forums a information and reports lose their value unless the rules and provisions explicitly provide for the manner in which the information would be provided and acted upon.

But the US, the EU and most other developed countries have so far blocked talks on this front. Business Standard reported on this stand-off earlier.

On the opening day of the negotiations, also spoke on behalf of the BASIC group. The group comprises of the four emerging economies India, China, Brazil and South Africa.

Ravi Shankar Prasad, senior negotiator from and joint secretary in the Union ministry of environment, forests and climate change, speaking on behalf of the BASIC group said, “The need for adequate and predictable finance, technology development and transfer and capacity building support to developing, cannot be over emphasized. To this effect, equal progress should be made on both ex-ante and ex-post biennial communication of quantitative and qualitative information by developed countries on public financial resources to be provided to developing countries referred to in article 9.5 as well as article 9.7 of the Paris Agreement.”

The need for clarity from developed countries in climate finance has got more than a hundred developing countries on the same page at Katowice demanding that the rule-book be well fleshed-out on the issue. These countries also sit under the larger G77 plus China group.

The LMDC group also stated, “We will not walk away from, nor backslide, nor reinterpret, nor dilute, the commitments that we have made to our people, our fellow Parties, and our global community, under the Convention and its Paris Agreement. Our word is our bond, and equity is the foundation.”

At the same time the BASIC group said, “Public finance is at the heart of enhanced climate ambition by developing countries and developed countries must fulfill their climate finance commitments of mobilizing US$ 100 billion per annum by 2020. Further, developed countries must progressively and substantially scale up their financial support and finalize a new collective finance goal to inform parties (countries) for future action through Nationally Determined Contributions (targets under the Paris Agreement).

This assertion came in reference to a Provision in Paris Agreement requiring developed countries to set a quantified goal for delivery of climate finance by 2023. While developing countries have asked that the technical work begin to determine how much funds would be required (above the floor of US$ 100 billion annually), the developed countries have balked at the idea. At the last round of negotiations in September, all developed countries had said it was too early to put in place even rules of how the technical assessment would be carried out.

First Published: Mon, December 03 2018. 15:09 IST