Climate agreement draft deepens rich-poor nation divide

  • Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times, Paris
  • Updated: Dec 04, 2015 02:03 IST
Guests visit a stand during the UN conference on climate change in Le Bourget on the outskirts of Paris on Thursday. (AFP)

A new draft of an ambitious climate agreement in Paris deepened divisions between rich and developing nations on Thursday, as a negotiator from an affluent country described New Delhi as “difficult” after India and China rejected a proposal that they become donors rather than recipients of climate funds.

The delegate’s remarks came hours after the G77-plus-China group, the biggest block of developing countries that also includes India, tore into the blueprint and the position adopted by the developed world. “This is not a bridging text but a destroying one,” said Nozipho Mxakato-Diseko, chair of G-77 plus China, without naming the countries she held responsible.

Others from the group blamed the United States and Europe for “hijacking” the negotiating process as Diseko described the introduction of the concept of “self-differentiation” in the draft as “domain of the perverse”.

While clarifying that the draft will be updated in the next two days, she identified “finance” and “differentiation” as the biggest sticking points in reaching an agreement.

A negotiator from a rich country who did not want to be identified, said Europe was willing to enhance its financial commitment for the post 2020 period but the United States had “simply said no” unless the developing world agreed to its conditions.

A diplomatic source from the European climate team said countries like India were speaking of “climate justice” but there was no clarity on how to translate it in time and operationalise it.

An Indian negotiator hit back, saying that providing money for loss and damage, a financial mechanism for vulnerable countries to get money for loss from extreme weather events, and a clear road map of the enhanced climate finance in the Paris agreement will ensure “climate justice” for billions of poor in the world.

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