Africa, Urged to Insist on Developed Countries’ Funding at Climate Talks

27 Nov 2012

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Addis Ababa Ethiopia

Dr. Victor Fodeke, Advisor on Climate Change at the African Union Commission, Addis Ababa Ethiopia, has urged African negotiators at the ongoing climate talks in Doha, Qatar to insist that developed countries honour their commitment to finance developing countries’ climate change adaptation initiatives as prescribed by Ministers from some developing countries after a meeting in China last week, reports Bennett Oghifo

As humanity converged, yesterday, in Doha, Qatar to discuss the future of the planet in the face of climate change, a group of Ministers from Brazil, South Africa, India and China, who had a pre-conference meeting last week in Beijing, China, stressed that developed countries should honour their financial commitment to developing countries as the Kyoto Protocol enters its second phase on January 1 next year.

The Kyoto Protocol, which first phase of implementation ends on December 31 this year, specified funding and other roles to both developed and developing nations that are aimed at reducing the earth’s temperature to below two degrees as a means of combating climate change.

Assessing the ministers’ position after their meeting, the Advisor on Climate Change at the African Union Commission, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Dr. Victor Fodeke said, “This looks good as setting the ground rules for negotiations at COP18/CMP8 in Doha. If our ministers can stick to this agenda as ground rules, Africa can be guaranteed of future climate safety.”

The ministers in a joint statement issued at the conclusion of the 13th Basic Ministerial meeting on Climate Change, last week, reaffirmed that the Kyoto Protocol remains a key component of the international climate order and that its second commitment period (2CP), which begins next January should make positive impact on humanity.
They said it was important to have an effective and legally binding second commitment period through a rectifiable amendment of the Kyoto Protocol’s Annex B, which sets out the emission cuts for developed nations known as Annex 1 Parties for the second commitment period that would be implemented from next January.

For instance, they said developed countries should honour their commitment to provide financial, technology transfer and capacity building support to developing countries. They were also asked to finance the effective implementation of the institutional goals set for developing countries because of the importance of means of implementation for developing countries.

The Ministers’ statement published in Suns bulletin, last week reiterated the importance of achieving the goal of providing $100 billion per year by 2020 as committed by developed country that are Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, saying there was “the need for a roadmap to scale up financial resources in order to avoid the funding gap for the period from 2013 to 2020.”
According to them, “public finance from developed countries should be the main source of funding to support developing countries’ actions on climate change, in particular for their adaptation and capacity building.” They called for “concrete information on the implementation of the Fast Start Finance to ensure transparency.”

They stressed that the objective of the Durban Platform negotiations in South Africa recently was to further strengthen the current multilateral rule-based climate regime, ensuring the full, effective and sustained implementation of the Convention after 2020.
“The Durban Platform is by no means a process to negotiate a new regime, nor to renegotiate, rewrite or reinterpret the Convention and its principles and provisions. As agreed by all Parties, both the process and the outcome of the Durban Platform are under the Convention, governed by all its principles and provisions, in particular the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.”

Also, the ministers demanded that developed countries’ Parties to the Kyoto Protocol should raise their level of commitment to reduce emissions, known technically as their quantified emission limitation and reduction objectives (QELROs) in Doha, adding that it should be “consistent with what is required by science and their historical responsibility.” They called for the continued discussion on higher QELROs by the meeting of the Kyoto Parties.

Developed country Parties that do not commit to QELROs in the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, the ministers said “should undertake quantified emission reduction commitments under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that are comparable in terms of form, magnitude and compliance.”
They said developed countries that are not Parties to the Kyoto Protocol or do not participate in its second commitment period would not benefit from the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol.

The participants at the Beijing Ministerial meeting were Mr. Xie Zhenhua, Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission of China; Ms. Edna Molewa, Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs of South Africa; Ms. Mira Mehrishi, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Forests of India; and Ambassador Andre Correa do Lago, Director of the Department of the Environment and Special Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil.

Also present at the meeting were Ambassador Mxakato-Diseko of South Africa, as the representative of the President of the 17th meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP17), Ambassador Mourad Benmehidi, Permanent Representative of Algeria to the United Nations as Chair of the G77 and China, as well as the representatives of Fiji, a member of the Alliance of Small Island States and incoming Chair of the G77 and China, and Qatar, incoming President of COP18/CMP8.
Egypt, a member of the Arab Group, and Nepal, the incoming Chair of the LDCs (Least Developed Countries) group, were also invited.

The ministers said they “welcomed the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) and the adoption of the document “The Future We Want.” They stressed that the political consensus reached by the leaders in Rio not only provided the highest political guidance to the Doha Conference and the future climate negotiations, but also reaffirmed that Parties to the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol should protect the climate system on the basis of equity and in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.”

They said the implementation of the balanced Durban package was essential to the success of the Doha Conference and that “in the overall interest of raising global ambition, the developed countries should take the lead and scale up ambition not just in mitigation but also in adaptation, finance, technology transfer and capacity building.”

The Ministers emphasized the urgency to make progress in the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperation (AWG-LCA) and bring it to a meaningful conclusion pursuant to the Bali Action Plan, addressing all elements including ambitious and comparable emission reduction targets by the developed country Parties, adaptation, finance, technology development and transfer and capacity building.

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