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G77+China stands up to developed nations

world Updated: Nov 21, 2013 02:29 IST
Nivedita Khandekar
Nivedita Khandekar
Hindustan Times
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Standing their ground against developed nations, the G77+China group of 133 countries walked out of negotiations on the Loss and Damage mechanism at the United Nations climate change conference early on Wednesday morning.

Around 3.45am, G77+China negotiator Juan Hoffmeister walked out of the contact group meeting on Loss and Damage after the rich countries refused to agree that the mechanism was needed now and not after 2015.

A new agreement on climate change is to be signed in 2015 in Paris.

Hoffmeister said the draft being discussed at the closed-door meeting was weak as key elements of the mechanism were missing.

Loss and Damage is to become a mechanism under which rich nations provide financial aid to vulnerable developing countries to compensate for the damages suffered due to high emissions of greenhouse gases by the developed world so far.

Hours after G77 coordinator for Loss and Damage talks walked out, the powerful BASIC - group of countries including India, Brazil, China and South Africa - hardened its stand vis-a-vis action by developed nations.

BASIC has now demanded the developed world to fulfill their mitigation commitments towards affected nations to deal with the issue of global warming. "We hear allegations from the other side. We are here to talk. We came here to negotiate. We came here to a successful cooperation for the negotiation. We did not come here to start a blame game. We want to move ahead. Our position is very clear. We need a science-based agreement," Brazil's lead negotiator Jose Marcondes de Carvalho told media persons.

Union minister for environment and forests Jayanthi Natarajan said India supported the G77 group, of which it is a part.

“We want the draft to be strong. We are with G77. We support very strong steps for loss and damage, and anything that does not fulfil that should be highlighted,” she said.

Natarajan arrived in Warsaw on Tuesday night for the ministerial level talks at the 19th session of the Conference of Parties (COP 19) of the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) that began on November 11.

Last week, the G77+China group had adopted a Brazilian proposal for a reference methodology to establish historical responsibility for global warming.

This means that the developing countries want the developed nations to own up to and compensate for their past emissions in a systematic manner.

While the developing countries are pushing for a separate mechanism on Loss and Damage – India says it could be a window under the proposed $100-billion global Green Climate Fund – the rich nations, especially the United States of America, the European Union and Australia, are against it.

The G77+China group had warned earlier that it would walk out of negotiations if the rich countries did not change their mind about the mechanism.

While such walk-outs can threaten to stall all talks at the COP 19, an Indian negotiator confirmed that talks on Loss and Damage did resume later in the day.

“But we will know the outcome of the talks only at the end of the day,” the negotiator said. The conclusions of the contact group meeting will eventually be referred to the ministerial talks.