India advocates ‘balanced approach’ to break climate logjam

December 14, 2014 03:00 am | Updated December 04, 2021 11:29 pm IST - Lima

Delegates attend the UN Climate Change Conference in Lima on Thursday.

Delegates attend the UN Climate Change Conference in Lima on Thursday.

India on Saturday strongly advocated a “balanced approach” in the draft text of a new binding pact to cut global carbon emissions to make sure that polluting countries pay and not the poorest nations, as crucial U.N. climate talks remained deadlocked.

The negotiators from more than 190 countries, who have been in the Peruvian capital for about two weeks, have struggled to prepare the elements of the draft due to the logjam between developing countries and industrialised nations that haggle over the formula of sharing the burden for cutting emissions, and who should pay.

Several developing nations rejected a draft decision they said did not make the distinction between what rich and poor countries were expected to do.

The informal plenary regarding the Ad hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform (ADP) again met here after breaking at 4 a.m. Parties reviewed the draft text and reconvened to state their positions on it.

Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar delivered India’s statement, saying a “balanced approach” in the draft text was required to make sure polluting countries pay and not the poorest countries.

He began his statement by saying that what the like-minded developing countries, least developed countries and the Africa group are saying “must be appreciated” because they are all “speaking their heart“.

Mr. Javadekar said India supports the genuine concerns of these groups.

India stuck to the consistent position that all the elements of adaptation, mitigation, finance, technology, and capacity building should be included in the intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs).

“Let us not forget billions of poor” because “every climate action has a cost,” Mr. Javadekar said.

He ended the short statement by saying India will cooperate with the COP presidency in order to sort out any issues “in a balanced manner”.

Meanwhile, the EU said the text is not congruent with what they wanted and some of the views are “weakly expressed” but accepted the draft text in an effort to move forward.

Tuvalu spoke on behalf of the least developed countries (LDCs), saying the text “needs some surgery” and that the LDCs are “very disappointed” because the most recent draft omitted any mention of loss and damage.

“We have deadlock,” Chinese negotiator Liu Zhenmin told the conference. China sided with Malaysia and other developing countries that rejected the draft.

Malaysia gave a lengthy statement addressing the need for financial commitments. Malaysia said it along with other developing countries was willing to work on issues.

Todd Stern, US’ Special Envoy on Climate Change, said that “the text is not good but we are running out of time.”

Failing to produce the decision before us will be seen as a serious breakdown, which could put the Paris agreement and the entire UN process at risk, Stern said.

The climate talks are aiming to establish the draft text of a new agreement that will be signed by all countries at the next major talks in Paris in 2015 and take effect by 2020.

Earlier, Peruvian Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, who presides over the talks, was seemingly frustrated by the lack of progress and called for constructive exchanges.

Mr. Vadal said, “We don’t want to leave Lima with empty hands... We are in a time in which we should take decisions.”

“We are almost there. We just need to make a final effort. Finding a solution would be a way to show to the world that we are building this process step by step,” he said.

India is demanding that the key issue of adaptation must be fully reflected in the new climate agreement and developed nations should give enough carbon space to developing nations to achieve sustainable growth.

The current draft of the text regarding the intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) is mitigation-centric once again.

Developed countries are not ready to make financial or technology sharing commitments and so the financial portion of the current draft is weaker than previous versions.

There is also no reference to the loss and damage provision for which least developed countries and small island developing states have been pushing.

Also absent is any reference to common but differentiated responsibility or long-term financial commitments.

Of particular interest to India is also the section on an ex-ante review process of the INDCs. The section indicates that “sovereignty” should be guarded and will apply only to “parties willing to do so”.

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