Climate summit: Developing nations raise questions over transparency

  • Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times, Paris
  • Updated: Dec 08, 2015 07:50 IST
A woman takes a picture of a globe at the COP21, the United Nations Climate Change Conference. (AP Photo)

The Paris climate conference saw its first major firework on Monday night with the developing countries raising the question of “transparency” and “openness” in the process adopted for final agreement.

The developing countries found the work of facilitators appointed by conference president Laurent Fabius as too “conceptual” and sought a text based negotiations by Tuesday if the agreement has to be wrapped up by Friday, the official last day of the conference.

Lot of unhappiness was expressed on the work of facilitators on differentiation, which the rich nations want to dilute, saying that they failed to provide clarity on issues raised by different countries.

Gurdial Singh Nijar of Malaysia, speaking on behalf of Like Minded Developing Countries (LMDCs) having India and China as members, said that instead of having bilateral on differentiation there should be a discussion on wider group of ministers to “strike balance”.

This happened at the facilitators on differentiation failed to present the view point of the developing countries and said that the developed countries had assured that there would not be any “backsliding” on their commitments.

“Talking conceptually was good but specifics should be provided. We should have some level of text based negotiations and should done some reality check,” Nijar said in a nuanced statement hinting disagreement with the way 14 facilitators appointed by Fabius were working.

His views were also echoed by many other developing countries such as South Africa, Egypt, Cuba and Venezuela.

“We know this process is extremely tricky and gets jittery at the end…worried to find out by when we will start working on the text without speeches and conceptual debates and will be ready to look at each other face to face and agree,” was the intervention of Venezuelan climate negotiator Claudia Salemo, who has the history of

taking on rich nations in past climate conferences.

Fabius was, however, backed by rich nations led by European Union, Marshall Islands and the group of seven countries called Independent Association of Latin America (AILAC) and the Caribbean which wanted the facilitators to continue with their work without any change.

Fabius assured to look into the suggestions and concerns raised.

Forward movement

The first day of discussion by facilitators showed some forward movement on climate finance with convergence appearing on expanding the donor base on voluntary basis without any obligation on developing countries to contribute to the Green Climate Fund.

Encouraging climate funding between developing countries, called South-South cooperation, may also find mention in the final text to which India is not opposed.

There also appeared to be agreement on having a Paris committee on pre-2020 commitments of rich nations and for 1.5 degree temperature rise goal by end of the century provided adequate finance is provided.

But, observers said the so-called agreement was in the conceptual discussions and not in any text format, a key to take the negotiations ahead. “Differentiation is the biggest bottleneck,” a developing country negotiator said.

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