Doha climate talks: rich nations push for dropping disputed matters

No progress on the Durban Platform to be allowed unless elements from long-term cooperative action incorporated in negotiating process, say developing nations

By Arnab Pratim Dutta
Published: Wednesday 28 November 2012


The developed countries want to junk elements close to the heart of the developing world and bury them in Doha. At the opening plenary of the LCA (Long-Term Cooperative Action) on the second day of Doha climate talks, the rich nations suggested that all elements on which there is no agreement be left out of the new negotiating process emanating from the Durban Platform. These include elements like transfer of patented technology, means of finance, global peaking, unilateral measures and the cornerstones of climate negotiations like equity and common but differentiated responsibility (CBDR).

The United States, a part of the Umbrella Group, which includes other major economies like Japan, Australia and Canada, suggested this during the plenary, albeit obliquely.

Of the 190-plus countries participating in the climate change negotiations, only a handful of developed countries have a historical role of pushing CO2 and other green house gases into the atmosphere.
The developed countries want to now throw into the dustbin all the issues on which they had dragged the negotiations from 2007 onwards when the Bali Action Plan was agreed to. The Plan led to the Copenhagen Accord   and subsequently the Cancun Agreement  that largely gave the developed world what they wanted against little give-in on developing world concerns. There were promises made on way, such as the US $100 billion dollar annual fund post-2020 but the poor world got only an empty bank account instead. The Umbrella Group explicitly, and others by implication, have now suggested that these unresolved issues be unceremoniously buried at Doha.

The developing countries have already made their stand clear, on the opening day as well as at the LCA plenary. They are adamant that no progress on the Durban Platform would be allowed unless elements from LCA are incorporated in the new negotiating process.

In the LCA plenary, the developing countries unanimously argued that if the developed countries felt that certain elements have remained unresolved, then the future negotiating drafts must reflect these disagreements.

If the unattended to issues fall off the table at Doha with the ending of the LCA track of talks, the developing world would have to start from scratch to push them back into the new process – the Durban Platform. The gains made over four years of negotiations would stand rubbished.

The current stand of the developed world implies that between 2013 and 2020, most of the developed countries can abdicate their responsibility of taking on CO2 reduction targets and financing adaptation and mitigation activities in developing countries.
It also implies that beyond 2020, the developing countries will find it hard to access public funds from developed countries and would have to rely on private equity, investment and loans for their adaptation and mitigation activities.

While advanced developing nations like India, China, Brazil and South Africa kept their bargain to take on commitments beyond 2020, the other end of the deal has not been kept. The developed countries are yet to commit how they would ramp up their contribution by 2020 to the US $100 billion annual fund.





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