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UN Battle Looms Over Finance As Nations Submit Climate Plans

Matt McGrath, BBC News

Divisions over money between rich and poor countries re-emerged as nations submitted their plans for tackling climate change to the UN. India, the last big emitter to publish its contribution, said it would need $2.5 trillion to meet its targets.

The Philippines said that without adequate climate compensation, their cuts in emissions wouldn’t happen.

The UN says the plans increase the likelihood of a strong global treaty.

148 countries, out of a total of 196, have met a UN deadline for submitting a plan, termed an Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC).

These INDCs cover close to 90% of global emissions of carbon dioxide. The commitments will form the centrepiece of a new global agreement on climate change that nations hope to agree in Paris in December.

Independent analysts at the Climate Action Tracker said that the plans, when added up, meant the world was on track for temperature rises of 2.7 degrees C above pre-industrial levels.

This is above the 2 degree target generally accepted as the threshold for dangerous climate change. But it is a significant improvement on a previous assessment of 3.1 degrees, made when fewer plans had been submitted.

India’s contribution, which promised to reduce the carbon intensity of their emissions but didn’t commit to peaking their CO2, drew praise from around the world.

“It’s highly significant that India is joining the ranks of so many other developed and developing countries in putting serious commitments on the table ahead of the Paris climate talks,” said former UK environment minister Richard Benyon MP. […]

The plan says that India’s transition will cost $2.5 trillion, a “scary number” according to one observer.

It is unclear how much of this money will come from India’s own resources and how much from the international community and investment.

In their written submission, India’s proposed climate actions appear to be contingent on getting much of this money from richer countries: “The successful implementation of INDC is contingent upon an ambitious global agreement including additional means of implementation to be provided by developed country parties.”

Developed countries have committed to $100bn funding for developing countries to deal with climate change by 2020, but India’s environment minister suggested the bill was going to a lot bigger than that.

“I am telling the world that the bill for climate action for the world is not just $100bn, it is in trillions of dollars per year,” said Prakash Javadekar.

“Countries will take up their own responsibility but the world which is historically responsible for carbon emissions, what we are suffering today, the climate change, they must at least walk the talk on $100bn.”

Some observers believe that India and others are using the INDCs to begin the negotiation process and to highlight how important money is, especially to developing countries.

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