South Asian countries have criticized the strongarm tactics of developed countries in the drafting of guidelines for implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.
The fallout centres on the introduction of private sector financing for so-called “loss and damage” resulting from climate change.
Speaking at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Bonn, Germany, the former environment minister of Bangladesh voiced the collective concerns of the Most Vulnerable Countries (MVC) and Least Developed Countries (LCDs).
“We are deeply concerned with the developed countries opposition in recognising the need for public and grant-based resources for adaptation,” Dr Hasan Mahmud said.
The press conference, titled “MVC & LDC’s Peoples’ Interest and COP 23”, was jointly organized by Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies, Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihood-CSRL, EqityBd, Energy & Climate Group-India and Centre for Environmental Justice- Sri Lanka.
Aminul Hoque of EquityBd said there had been no clear direction given in the rulebook on the source of funds the MVCs and LDCs need for climate change adaptation.
“The developed countries must form policies that ensure the common but differentiated responsibility and respected capacity,” he said.
UN climate talks adopted a provision of Loss and Damage in the Paris Agreement in 2015 to recover the sudden loss induced by climate change.
The parties at this year’s conference in Bonn finally adopted the policies to implement the agreement, but these have become a contentious issue for the developing countries.
Industrialized nations are also facing criticism over their lack of progress on climate mitigation, adaptation communication, transparency framework, implementation and compliance framework, and adaptation funds - among other issues.
Soumya Dutta from Energy & Climate Group-India said only “unremarkable decisions” had been made on these issues.
“We are concerned that time is running out fast and we only have a year to agree on these terms for the Paris Agreement to become operational,” he said. “We urge the Parties to transform the informal discussion to real negotiations, so that the preparation for the implementation of Paris Agreement is not delayed any further.”
The group was also very frustrated over the loss and damage issue that has been proposed this year. They said the developed countries had forced the developing countries to finalise the Loss and Damages’ draft without having any direction for finance.
“The lingering over the finance compensation in loss and damages until 2018 has pushed the vulnerable countries to further vulnerability, because the changing weather pattern will not wait for the developed countries to decide what to do,” Hemantha Withanage from the Centre for Environmental Justice, Sri Lanka, said.
Dr Atiq Rahman from Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies said vulnerable countries have been demanding funding to cope with the changing climate and erratic weather patterns for a long time.