No breakthrough in talks on climate fight funding

Published: November 20, 2017
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PHOTO: UN

PHOTO: UN

BONN, GERMANY: Despite working overtime and passing Friday’s deadline, negotiators – from over 196 countries – at the COP23 could not make any breakthrough in talks on financing developing countries in their battle against climate change.

Director General of Pakistan’s Ministry of Climate Irfan Tariq, when asked about the negotiations, said, “An understanding was reached to move forward.”

The DG added that the pre-2020 (commitments by rich countries to cut their emissions before the Paris Agreement becomes operative in 2020) will have a stock-take next year. He also said that there was some understanding developed over Article 6 of the agreement.

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The Paris Agreement offers countries the opportunity to cooperate with one another when implementing their voluntary plans to cut emissions, which are also called Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). The cooperation mechanism is designed to make it easier for countries to achieve their targets of reducing emissions. Many have also pinned hopes that this will usher in a framework on which a global carbon market can be constructed.

Experts say the current pledges in the NDCs submitted by over 160 countries to the UN will lead to a 3.2-degree projected increase in the average global temperature. However, they have also suggested that further interventions can result in an even lower temperature increase. They have also urged governments to deliver much stronger pledges when they are revised in 2020.

One of the positive buzz at Bonn was that investments in clean energy are growing in the last few years. In 2016, 80 per cent of all the investments in the electricity sector have gone into renewable energy installations and most of these investments have been in developing countries like India and China.

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The near bankrupt adaptation fund, which is meant to help poorer countries deal with climate change impacts, has also been kept alive in Bonn and has now been placed under the 2015 Paris Agreement. Pakistan was one of the first countries to get funding of $7.6 million for its Glacier Lake Outburst Flood project from this fund in 2012.

“Next year an additional session is also planned to finalise the modalities, procedures and guidelines for implementing the Paris agreement”, said Tariq. In Bonn, progress was made in developing a “rulebook” that will enable the Paris Agreement to start operating in 2020. This rulebook has to be finalised at COP24 to be held in Poland next year.

Two other issues that were also resolved in Bonn included the gender action plan that will put more focus on the impacts of climate change especially on women, and an indigenous people’s platform which would entail the meaningful participation of indigenous communities in global climate decision making.

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