‘Developed nations working against compensation’

While the U.S. and other developed countries refused to be drawn into compensation of loss and damage, non-governmental organisations are clear that with the adaptation fund not attracting enough funds, this was one issue that needed urgent attention.

Harjeet Singh of ActionAid International said that developed countries like the U.S. supported by Canada and Australia were working against compensation and killing any progress on loss and damage. He said the issue of loss and damage was raised at the Cancun climate change meeting and after two years of work the U.S. was trying to water it down and so a collective mechanism could not be worked out.

The other concern was for scaling up finances from the fast start finance to the Green Climate Fund. The Fund was an empty shell said activists and feared it would go the way of the Adaptation Fund which was in a crisis, said Mr. Singh.

He said countries needed funds for adaptation and while many had national plans, they were stuck for want of finances. He said the targets under the second commitment period to the Kyoto Protocol were woefully inadequate and Poland was virtually holding back the European Union from increasing its commitment to cut emissions to 30 per cent.

The Adaptation Fund was to be created from a two per cent levy on clean development mechanisms (CDMs) and this faced a problem since it was linked to market mechanisms. Currently, he pointed out that $200 million was needed to get adaptation programmes going.

Countries are arguing that since the adaptation fund was not delivering as it should have, the issue of paying for loss and damage becomes paramount.

The Bali roadmap was based on four pillars — finances, mitigation, adaptation and technology transfer. Today after five years, that seemed to be going nowhere. Mr. Singh said the commitment by developing countries to cut emissions was higher than those by developing countries.— and this is where equity becomes the paramount issue.

While negotiators say that a political acceptance of equity was not happening, Sunita Narain of the Centre for Science and Environment points out that equity is in fact the inconvenient truth that some countries are not willing to acknowledge.

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