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Africa Cries Foul Over $100 Billion P.A. Climate Finance Promise

New Era News

Developing countries, led by Africa and China, nearly walked out of the UN’s climate talks in Bonn, Germany, on Monday, as the rift widened between the rich and poor nations over who should bear the larger financial responsibility to implement measures to curb climate change. A key concern was the wording on US$100 billion in climate finance developed nations have promised.

The developing countries were not pleased with the draft agreement text, which they said lacked firm commitments by the developed nations. The developing nations do not just want commitments to the total amount to be spent on combatting climate change, but want clarity on where it will come from and what it would be used for.

However, yesterday the negotiators were back at the negotiation table, with renewed attempts to find common ground amid high tension. Meanwhile UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon is complaining of the “frustrating” and “slow” progress in talks on the final draft, because of “narrow national perspectives”.

Most infuriated are the developing countries grouped under the G77+China, a 130-strong grouping that includes Namibia, other African nations, the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDC).

The G77 say the new draft leaves out key mechanisms agreed to previously, such as financing for poorer nations, and fails to hold richer developed nations to account. “When you take out the issues of others, you disenfranchise them, and disempower those who suffer the most,” said South Africa’s climate envoy Nozipho Mxakato-Diseko, who chairs the G77 group of 130 developing nations, including China and India.

The new draft “completely ignored the submissions of G77 on finance,” said Gurdial Singh Nijar, a spokesman for the LMDC. “We demand that the text be balanced for negotiations to commence,” said Nijar.

“The current text neither satisfies the concerns of all parties, nor would it lead to the actions required to avert a global calamity,” said AOSIS chairman Thoriq Ibrahim of the Maldives.

Developing nations objected to the latest, shortened blueprint for the agreement, saying some of their key demands have been dropped. They insist that deleted passages be restored before the job of line-by-line text bartering can begin.

Ban implored the nations to continue with talks and find common ground in time for the Paris conference, as there is no other alternative. “We don’t have any ‘plan B’ because we don’t have any ‘planet B’,” said Ban.

Nations have met in Germany under the auspices of the UN to hammer out the final wording for the universal climate rescue pact that is supposed to be signed at the November 30 to December 11 UN climate conference in Paris.

A key pillar of the Paris pact will be binding pledges by national governments to cut greenhouse gas emissions to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius above pre-Industrial Revolution levels.

The five-day UN session in Bonn is the last official meeting of rank-and-file negotiators to lay the groundwork for heads of state and ministers to seal a deal meant to curb global warming.

A key concern was the wording on US$100 billion in finance that the developed world had promised to mobilise by 2020 to help poorer nations make the shift to less-polluting energy industries and adapt to the unavoidable effects of global warming, such as a rise in the sea level.

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