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US move to make UNFCCC changes rejected by developing nations

Geneva: A US move to make changes in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has been rejected by developing nations, including India which has argued in favour of its “forceful implementation”.

The US proposed to re-define the basic categories of the Convention at the ongoing six-day talks of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) which is tasked with drafting a negotiating text for the next climate change meet in June this year.

The US wanted to replace the term ‘developed countries’ with ‘parties in Annex X’ and ‘developing countries’ with ‘parties not included in Annex X’ and with ‘parties in Annex Y’ for ‘developed’ countries when referring to countries providing support for finance, technology and capacity building.

Calling the present categories “untenable”, the US said “the form and the content of the agreement is on changing categories” thus obliterating the differences between developed and developing countries.

At present, the developed countries are called Annex 1 and developing countries are called non-Annex 1 countries under the Convention which was scripted in 1992.

Ravi Shankar Prasad, head of the Indian delegation for the climate change negotiations, said, “You cannot change the basic categories of the Convention. The ADP mandate is to work under the UNFCCC. If you want to change the Convention, then have a separate forum for that but this is not the forum.”

The second option proposed by the US was to do away with categories altogether.

Bolivia, speaking on behalf of the Like Minded Developing Countries’ (LMDCs) said in an opening statement that “concepts or approaches such as ‘evolving common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR)’ or ‘parties in a position to do so’ are not consistent with the Convention and are not acceptable.”

Prasad said, “The text should not become mitigation- centric. We want a forceful implementation of the Convention which consists not only of mitigation but technology transfer, financing, capacity building and adaptation. The USD 2.5 billion per year for the capitalisation of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) promised by the developed countries has not started coming. There is time to 2020 and those also need to be implemented.”

The last option offered by the US was that countries would graduate from one category to the next as the countries’ circumstances change based on the contribution of a country to global emissions as a percentage and per capita income.

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