Climate talks: A mountain of unresolved issues remain for ministers

  • Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Dec 06, 2015 01:23 IST
French President Francois Hollande (C) with foreign affairs minister Laurent Fabius (L) and president-designate of COP21 and ecology minister Segolene Royal at World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) at Le Bourget near Paris on Saturday. (REUTERS)

The Saturday draft for ministers to start discussion from Monday clearly showed they will have to work hard to resolve huge differences on providing adequate finance by rich nations for low carbon economic growth and maintaining the rich versus poor divide in the new agreement.

These are the sections in the draft having most options and brackets (different points of view) for the ministers to resolve. Some consensus has been arrived at on the compensation mechanism called loss and damage but on all other issues there seem to be lot of differences.

“I think the developing countries will not allow weakening of the climate convention principles. Putting money on the table for post-2020 finance is a must for developing countries to take the talks forward next week,” said Meena Raman of the Third World Network.

Conference president and French foreign minister Laurent Fabius said the work of negotiators was over and it was now for the ministers to take charge. He also announced that a small group of ministers on different issues will be formed to resolve the differences.

Read | 1st week of Paris talks: India fights perception of being ‘blocker’

Hollande (second right) and foreign affairs minister Laurent Fabius (third from right) attend a meeting with French negotiators including France's climate ambassador Laurence Tubiana (left) on Saturday at the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21). (AFP)

The draft shows that having differentiation in all six elements of the proposed agreement — mitigation, finance, adaptation, technology transfer, transparency and capacity building — is being resisted by rich nations led by the US and Europe.

“They want to end the 1992 formula based on historical emissions of rich nations having to make mandatory contributions and the developing world having to take voluntary effort. The rich want the countries “in position to do so” (India and China) should also contribute in global fight to reduce emissions.”

The developing countries have already warned that Paris will not be able to deliver an agreement if there is tampering with differentiation and rich countries fail to give clear roadmap on funding post 2020.

Read | Missing on Paris climate summit agenda: A return to nature

Civil society members believe that despite reports India has proven to be “more open” and willing to “compromise” than it has been given credit for. Saudi Arabia has been labelled as the villain in the first week and it also received a Fossil of Day award from the civil society. There were no fireworks between nations when the Paris text was adopted for ministerial consultation.

An Indian negotiator expressed dismay on India being clubbed with Saudi Arabia. The position Saudi Arabia has taken is that of Like Minded

Developing Countries that included China and many other countries. “We don’t agree on everything that Saudi Arabia is saying,” he said.

The civil society members said the draft for ministers showed that there was focus on low carbon economy and towards the goal of more renewable in the final energy mix.

Read | Slow pace of talks leads to scepticism about Paris climate summit

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