Environment

Lima talks: New draft text introduced without consultation

Former Vice President of the Unites States Al Gore, left, former President of Mexico Felipe Calderon, second lef, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, center, Peru's President Ollanta Humala, second right, and Peru's Environment Minister and President of the COP, Manuel Pulgar Vidal, gather at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru, on Dec. 11, 2014. Delegates from more than 190 countries are meeting in Lima, to work on drafts for a global climate deal that is supposed to be adopted next year in Paris.

Former Vice President of the Unites States Al Gore, left, former President of Mexico Felipe Calderon, second lef, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, center, Peru's President Ollanta Humala, second right, and Peru's Environment Minister and President of the COP, Manuel Pulgar Vidal, gather at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru, on Dec. 11, 2014. Delegates from more than 190 countries are meeting in Lima, to work on drafts for a global climate deal that is supposed to be adopted next year in Paris.  

The latest draft text is a watered down version of the earlier seven-page one and once again the national contributions of countries is mitigation-centric.

After objections to a new draft text released late on Thursday,  the day dragged on with little progress  till early Saturday when another revised five-page draft was introduced without any consultation by the President of the Conference of Parties, Manuel Pulgar Vidal .

The informal meeting of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action was convened early Saturday by Mr. Vidal who, while introducing the five-page latest draft, apologised for the lack of transparency in the process. This  text is not completely perfect but it will be a reflection on a common ground, he said, adding that hopefully countries can build on it together.

The latest draft text released around 2.30 a.m., is a watered down version of the earlier seven page one and once again  the national contributions of countries is mitigation centric.

Developing countries have been opposing the mitigation centric approach of the developed countries which are not ready to commit to financial targets or technology transfer. There is no reference to loss and damage, the finance portion is weaker than the earlier draft and there is no equity.

Countries can consider including their adaptation goals in the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC)s . There is a provision for assessment of the targets set by countries. However, there is no reference  to common but differentiated responsibility and no mention of long-term finance commitments from the developed countries. 

This is a text which few would endorse at first glance,  and countries protested that they were not consulted and a text which they had not seen was introduced. As a result, the like-minded developing countries, the Group of  77 plus China, the African Group, and the least developed countries all demanded for time to see the text before heading into the plenary session.

Late on Thursday, the seven page draft text was attacked for its low level of ambition and a thin reference to financial commitments of developed countries, and the whole of Friday passed in smaller meetings and attempts to resolve the impasse.

Mr Vidal called a stock taking plenary in the afternoon and said the Minsters of Norway and Singapore were working with parties to come to some common agreement on the text. However, Mr Vidal said more time was needed for the two Ministers to complete their meetings and reconvened the informal meeting at 1 a.m. but it began much later.

Mr Vidal was also consulting with the Ministers and parties till late night. There were some pending issues with finance,which the South African Minster and the UK Minister were tasked with sorting out. Two issues they would deal with, Mr. Vidal said, were long term climate issue, and the Green Climate Fund (GCF).  Thursday's draft was slammed by NGOswho were disappointed with its contents. There was no equitable framework in the draft for burden sharing and the text reflected the deep political divisions of parties. The issue of differentiation was not addressed, said Raman Mehta, of Vasudha Foundation. 

Alix Mazounie, RAC France Climate Action Network said the good news on the earlier seven page draft was that governments will support developing countries, but  what is needed is a year on year quantification of financial contributions. There is the issue if the pre 2020 finance as well. Alden Meyer, Union of Concerned Scientists , said some important pieces in the earlier text were missing including economy wise targets for developed countries. The information on the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) , and  assessment of INDCs, were key issues, he said. The question to ask is does this text provide a momentum for Paris next year. 

Meena Raman of Third World Network said the earlier 60 page text was produced in a transparent process and now there is a new one. you cant paper over differences this way, she pointed out. The least developed countries said they cannot accept a text without a finance target. Ms Raman said the text was not fair, ambitious or equitable.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 1:58:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/lima-talks-new-draft-text-introduced-without-consultation/article6689048.ece

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