Rejecting attempts to force some developing countries to contribute funds for climate finance, India said on Thursday that the developed world must focus its energies on raising the funds it has promised to mobilise instead of trying to shift its responsibilities elsewhere.
“The emphasis should be on the amount of money that is being raised and not on the number of countries in the donor list,” said Ajay Mathur, a key Indian negotiator, as issues related to finance took centrestage at the climate change negotiations here in Paris.
“At the end, what matters is how much money is there on the table, the size of the pie, whether it is adequate to address the requirements of developing countries or not. More number of countries does not necessarily mean a larger amount of money being mobilised,” he said.
As expected, money has dominated the discussions here with developing countries expressing their angst over the reluctance of the developed world to provide clarity on how it plans to raise its promised US$ 100 billion every year from 2020. It is also angry at attempts to “encourage” countries “in a position to do so” or “willing to do so” to also contribute to climate finance.
Mathur said nobody is stopping any developing country to make finance available if it wants but it can’t be made responsible for doing so.
“There is a difference between countries getting listed as donors in an agreement, and countries providing money as and when they feel comfortable doing so,” he said, citing China and India’s support for countries through south-south cooperation.
Mathur said such support cannot become part of the US$ 100 billion fund, which is the sole responsibility of developed countries.
After two days of talks in small sub-groups, the negotiators produced the first draft agreement text on Thursday morning. The 50-page text was only five pages shorter than the existing text, showing negotiators had not been able to make much progress on the first few days of the conference. The contentious issues remained as they were, each option mentioned in separate square brackets. After day-long negotiations today, a shorter draft text is expected to come out later in the evening.
Developing countries have been insisting that without significant progress on issues related to finance, it was difficult to proceed on other issues.
The G-77 plus China group, the largest negotiating group with about 130 members, gave vent to its frustration on Wednesday evening after developed countries reiterated their old positions on climate finance.
“The developed countries are obligated to provide financial resources, including technology transfer and capacity building to all developing countries. This is a legal obligation under the (UN Framework) Convention (on Climate Change, UNFCCC). It is neither ‘aid’ nor ‘charity’, nor is it the same as development assistance,” South African representative Nozipho Mxakato-Diseko said in a strongly-worded statement.
He warned that “nothing could be achieved” at the negotiations if the developed countries do not fulfill their commitments on providing money.