Frustrated by the continued attempts of developed countries to wriggle out of their financial responsibilities, a large group of developing countries has warned that “nothing can be achieved” at the climate talks in Paris if the rich nations do not fulfill all their commitments on providing money.
Speaking for the G-77 plus China negotiating group on Wednesday evening, South Africa’s Nozipho Mxakato-Diseko said that the developed countries were not being asked for any favours by providing money. “The developed countries are obligated to provide financial resources, including technology transfer and capacity building to all developing countries. This is a legal obligation under the (UN Framework) Convention (on Climate Change, UNFCCC). It is neither “aid” nor “charity”, nor is it the same as development assistance,” Mxakato-Diseko said in a strongly-worded statement.
The countries held a meeting on Wednesday evening to assess the progress made at the discussions in the different sub-groups that have been trying to forge some agreement on individual contentious issues.
The G-77 plus China group, of which India is a part, took strong objection to the attempts by the developed world to expand the donor base of the countries for mobilising finance after the year 2020. The developed countries have made a commitment of mobilising US$ 100 billion in climate finance per year from the year 2020.
While there has been some progress in raising this money for the first year of 2020, what happens after that is still unclear. There has been an attempt by the developed countries to “encourage” developing countries “in a position to do so” to also contribute to climate finance. The G-77 plus China group strongly rejected this.
“The group is 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,” the South African representative said.
The group also rejected arguments that an economic criteria needed to be evolved to decide which developing countries had more urgent need of financial resources. “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,” it said.
This clash on finance is not unexpected. It was always supposed to dominate the discussions in Paris: indeed, the success of the talks will be measured largely on the kind of provisions countries agree to on climate change finance. In the first two days of negotiations after the exit of world leaders on Monday, the discussions on finance have not moved forward. The G-77 plus China has now suggested that “all matters related to finance” now be discussed together in a comprehensive manner, instead of being taken up by different sub-groups according to the issue they are related with.