Turn India-China into climate finance donors: Developed nations

  • Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times, Paris
  • Updated: Dec 03, 2015 07:40 IST
President Barack Obama delivers remarks during the COP21, United Nations Climate Change Conference, in Le Bourget, outside Paris. (AP Photo)

Rich nations are seeking introduction of a new layer of emerging economies between the existing two worlds --- developed and developing --- to turn countries like India and China from receiver of climate aid to donors.

The proposal on the climate finance process led by United States, if accepted, could undermine the United Nations climate convention without re-writing it and will have a Paris agreement running parallel to the convention.

The narrative at the discussion on climate finance by rich nations was that the “world has changed since UN’s climate convention was adopted in 1992” due to dramatic economic gains of some countries (read India and China) and it should be reflected in the Paris agreement.

They (United States, Japan and Canada) want the pool of so-called “donors of climate aid” to expand and those eligible for receiving support to shrink to the “poorest of poor”.

In simpler terms, it would mean that countries like India and China will not receive any money from the promised US $ 100 billion climate fund and will have to contribute instead though lesser than the developed world.

Read | India talks tough at Paris climate summit, warns against restrictions

The proposal being pushed for the draft Paris agreement to be submitted on Friday for discussion by ministers from 196 nations next week also re-defines the existing differentiation between the developed and the developing world creating the third category of so-called emerging economies.

The 130 country strong block of the developing world called G-77 plus China strongly rejected the move saying this “narrative serves narrow national interests of the developed countries”.

The biggest group in climate talks also posed a question to rich nations: “If the world has really changed so much, we ask why it is that after all these decades all our members remain developing countries with little or no voice in global decision-making processes and institutions?.”

Ajay Mathur, spokesperson of India’s climate team, said defended the present differentiation saying nothing had changed since 1992 as even today there are more than 300 people without electricity in India which was also highly vulnerable to impact of climate change as evident from flooding in southern India.

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

Seeking to retain the existing differentiation between the developed and the developing world, the statement said the specific outcomes on finance must also not impose on” sovereignty” of countries in the G-77 plus China block and should not override or displace the “zero poverty goals” target of the developing world.

“The financial mechanism of the Convention must serve as the financial mechanism of the legal agreement. The related funds established under the Kyoto Protocol and under the financial mechanism of the Convention must also serve as instruments of the legal agreement,” the statement read, reiterating its stand that it will not agree to any attempt to undermine the convention.

Climate finance is the biggest sticking point at Paris climate talks and no agreement on it can derail the negotiations. As of now, converging on finance appears to be a distant goal.

Read | India, US headed for tough negotiations at Paris climate summit

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