Environment

BASIC nations push for ‘climate finance’

Photo: Twitter/@UNFCCC

Photo: Twitter/@UNFCCC  

A reminder for developed countries

Ahead of the United Nations Conference of Parties (COP) in December, Environment Ministers and top climate change negotiators from Brazil, South Africa, China and India (BASIC) convened in Delhi on Tuesday and said the countries — as a group — would continue to push for developed countries on their earlier commitment to providing $100 billion annually from 2020.

So far only a fraction of these monies have actually been provided, the BASIC group stated.

This year’s edition of the COP — the 24th such meeting — will see representatives from at least 190 countries, think-tanks, and activists converge in Katowice, Poland from December 2 to 14 to try to agree on a Rule Book that will specify how countries will agree to take forward commitments taken at the 21st COP in Paris in 2015. At that meeting, countries had agreed to take steps to limit global warming to 2C below pre-industrial levels and “as far as possible” limit it to 1.5C before the end of the century.

A key aspect to make this possible is climate finance, but countries so far aren’t agreed on what constitutes climate finance: do investments made by private companies in developed countries in new green technology count? Does improving efficiency in a thermal plant count?

“Ministers reiterated that public finance is the fulcrum of enhanced climate ambition by developing countries and urged developed countries to fulfil their climate finance commitments of mobilising USD 100 billion per annum by 2020. They encouraged developed countries to progressively and substantially scale up their financial support and finalise a new collective finance goal to inform parties for future action through NDCs (nationally determined contributions),” said a joint statement by the Ministers. The NDCs are the commitments made by countries to adapt to climate change and reduce emissions.

“The fact is that, on the ground, there is not much development on providing finance,” said Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan. China too said that claims on finances provided so far by the developed countries were disputable. “There have been claims of $64 billion provided so far…we don’t agree with that calculation,” said Xie Zhenhua, Special Representative for Climate Change Affairs of China.

In the run-up to the climate conference, India has had meetings with several countries to firm up a key plank of the forthcoming negotiations on transparency. That is, what would be the mechanism in place for countries to reporting their emissions inventory, steps taken and how other countries could be certain that this was being done truthfully and that this data passed agree-upon norms of quality.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 9:17:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/basic-nations-push-for-climate-finance/article25551454.ece

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