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Funding Row ‘Threatens Paris Climate Deal’, India And China Warn

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Emily Gosden, The Daily Telegraph

Developing nations including India and China issue strongly-worded statement attacking rich nations over funding

The Paris climate talks could fail because developed nations are trying to dodge their financial responsibilities to developing countries, China and India have claimed.

Industrialised countries are currently obliged to provide billions of pounds of funding to developing countries to help them go green and adapt to the impacts of global warming.

But a draft of the Paris agreement includes new wording, backed by the US and EU, suggesting funding should be provided not only by countries formally classed as “developed” but also by others “in a position to do so”.

In a strongly-worded joint statement on Wednesday, China and the “Group of 77” (G77) developing nations, which includes India, said they were “deeply concerned with the attempts to introduce economic conditions in the finance section currently under negotiation”.

U.S. President Barack Obama looks on as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande depart the stage after the launch of Mission Innovation, a landmark commitment to dramatically accelerate public and private global clean energy innovation, during the World Climate Change Conference 2015

President Barack Obama looks on as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande depart the stage  Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

“Any attempt to replace the core obligation of developed countries to provide financial support to developing countries with a number of arbitrarily identified economic conditions is a violation of the rules-based multilateral process and threatens an outcome here in Paris,” it said.

The intervention stands in stark contrast to the largely positive statements issued by world leaders on Monday pledging support for a deal, and comes amid growing concerns that slow progress of the negotiations may also jeopardise an agreement.

In the statement, the G77 and China said that developed nations were required to provide funding not as “aid” but rather an as an obligation stemming from their historical emissions.

They accused rich nations of trying to present a new “simplistic narrative” that, due to the “dramatic economic development gains” of some developing nations, it was “time to expand the pool of so-called ‘donors’ of climate ‘aid’ and to narrow the list of those eligible to receive this ‘support’ to only the ‘poorest of the poor'”.

“This narrative serves narrow national interests of developed countries and says little about reality,” they said.

Developed nations are currently required to “mobilise” $100 billion a year of climate finance to help developing nations by 2020.

The statement from the Group of 77 and China said there must be “a substantial scaling up of finance from the 2020 base level of $100 billion per year” and that developed countries bear “the main responsibility” for this.

Experts suggested the statement on finance may be a negotiating tactic by the G77 and China designed to extract concessions in other areas.

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