The European Union today said it expects India and other emerging economies to contribute to the Green Climate Fund after 2020, stating that ‘geopolitical realities have changed significantly’.
India, as part of LMDC and BASIC, has long resisted that all parties be treated similarly post-2020 – a position that defies the principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR) which, India argues, is the basic principle of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The hard fault lines between developed and developing nations was apparent once again in the first session of the six-day climate change talks which began in Geneva today.
Elina Bardram, head of the European Commission delegation stated that for a successful deal in Paris all major economies and other countries should submit their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) by the end of March and that there is ‘no excuse for them not to do so’.
The position will ruffle many feathers in the developing world.
“We are not saying that India needs to adopt a target that is the same as the EU. INDCs allow all parties to contribute in light of their specific circumstances and their development status,” stated Badram.
Sources who are part of the climate change talks, however, said that “Lima decision only invited countries to submit INDCs. It is not compulsory and there was no deadline of March or any other date.”
India – as part of Like Minded Group of Developing Countries (LMDC) and BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) group – argues that the focus on a mitigation-centric text will neglect issues of adaptation, technology transfer and financing incumbent on the developed nations, which again is a contravention of the convention.
“Developed countries want to confine the scope of the INDCs to only mitigation, while developing countries wanted all the elements to be covered, including on what developed countries will provide as regards their contributions for finance and technology transfer to support the developing countries’ mitigation and adaptation actions in the post-2020 period.”
“How could developing countries be expected to submit what they can do on mitigation when they do not know whether financial support is forthcoming and if so, how much?” said Martin Khor, head of the South Centre, an intergovernmental organization of developing countries, in Geneva.
South Africa, speaking on behalf of G-77 plus China, and supported by BASIC, LMDC and other groups of small nations, warned that “any attempt to re-negotiate, re-write or re-define” the basic principles of the UNFCCC would delay the process of reaching the Paris agreement.
Bardram, touching upon another issue of contention, stated that “dynamism has to be enshrined as a central part of the treaty” and “should be capable of responding to evolving science and realities of geopolitics”.
LMDCs and BASIC also contest ex ante assessments that the EU and the US insist on negotiating for “setting in place a process to regularly review and strengthen the parties emission reductions”.