Paris talks: India opposes US-backed plan to measure climate finance

  • Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times, Paris
  • Updated: Dec 08, 2015 19:27 IST
US Secretary of State John Kerry waves as he walks off stage after speaking at the Mashable/UN Foundation "Earth to Paris" Summit in Paris. India has agreed to proposals for a tougher temperature goal, but has opposed a US-backed plan to measure climate finance. (REUTERS Photo)

India has given its “nuanced consent” to proposals for a tougher temperature goal to combat global warming and reviews every five years of countries’ climate plans but has opposed a US-backed contentious plan to measure climate finance, sources said on Tuesday.

Two days of discussions in Paris anchored by 14 international ministers serving as facilitators saw developed countries like India showing much more “flexibility”, agreeing to voluntary expansion of the donor base for climate finance with reference to a proposed global treaty.

“We don’t mind being part of the Paris agreement, but South-South climate finance (from developing to developing countries) should not be under the UN convention,” said an Indian negotiator, adding that it was now the developed world’s responsibility to provide a clear road map for funding post 2020.

India and China both have increased their financial help to vulnerable countries recently with Prime Minister Narendra Modi holding separate summit-level meetings with heads of island and African nations, the two regions most at risk.

Harjeet Singh of the non-profit Action-Aid said India has been “very flexible” in the last 10 days and has moved ahead on almost all issues, but countries responsible for climate change such as the US and European nations are sticking to their stand.

The United States has proposed a methodology used in a controversial Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report to measure climate finance from the rich nations, a move that India has resisted. US climate negotiator Todd Stern raised the issue at a meeting with the facilitators on Monday.

The OECD report in October claimed rich countries have provided climate finance of about $60 billion which the developing world has termed an “exaggeration”.

India and other developing countries have described the methodology to measure climate finance as “flawed” and “unacceptable”.

New Delhi has come out with a discussion paper, saying the Green Climate Fund had less than $6 billion till mid-2015 against the commitment of $10 billion a year.

While there appears to be some forward movement on expanding the base of donors, sources say talks are stuck on the issue of embedding differentiation as defined in the 1992 UN climate convention in all six elements of the Paris agreement.

A lot of discontent was expressed over the work of the facilitators on the differentiation issue, which rich nations want to dilute, as developing nations said the ministers failed to provide clarity on matters raised by various countries.

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