Paris cli­mate deal at stake over fund­ing stale­mate

The East African - - OUTLOOK - By RINA CHANDRAN

UNITED NA­TIONS cli­mate talks in Bangkok made lit­tle head­way on the thorny is­sue of how fund­ing for poor na­tions to tackle global warm­ing is to be stepped up, some­thing that could stymie progress at a sum­mit in De­cem­ber, rights and aid groups said.

Pa­tri­cia Espinosa, ex­ec­u­tive sec­re­tary of the UN Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Cli­mate Change, said the Bangkok ne­go­ti­a­tions, which ended Sun­day, had made "un­even progress" on draft­ing a "rule book" to im­ple­ment the 2015 Paris ac­cord.

"This un­der­lines the urgent need for con­tin­u­ing work in com­ing weeks," she said in a state­ment.

En­vi­ron­ment and development ex­perts were more damn­ing, warn­ing that a fund­ing short­fall threat­ens the Paris Agree­ment to re­duce planet-warm­ing emis­sions and adapt to cli­mate change.

"If de­vel­oped coun­tries re­main stuck in their po­si­tions and fail to loosen their purses, the treaty may col­lapse," said Ac­tion­aid In­ter­na­tional’s global lead on cli­mate change, Har­jeet Singh.

Back in 2009, wealthy gov­ern­ments agreed to raise $100 bil­lion a year by 2020 to help vul­ner­a­ble coun­tries grow their economies cleanly and with­stand wilder weather and ris­ing seas. As that dead­line ap­proaches, dis­agree­ments per­sist over where the money will come from, and what should be counted to­wards the $100 bil­lion an­nual goal.

Those dis­cus­sions were dead­locked in Bangkok, as the US, Ja­pan and Aus­tralia pushed for a flex­i­ble ap­proach that would in­clude com­mer­cial loans, in­sur­ance and ex­port guar­an­tees.

Cam­paign­ers also flagged trou­bles at the flag­ship Green Cli­mate Fund, which is in­tended to chan­nel a large chunk of the money rich na­tions have pledged, but is strug­gling to re­plen­ish its cof­fers af­ter the US sig­nalled it would not de­liver $2 bil­lion of an ini­tial $3-bil­lion prom­ise.

At the De­cem­ber sum­mit in Poland, gov­ern­ments will meet to fi­nalise guide­lines for putting into prac­tice the Paris ac­cord, which has been rat­i­fied by some 180 na­tions.

Pic­ture: AFP

A cli­mate change rally in San Diego, Cal­i­for­nia in Fe­bru­ary 2017.

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