Wealthy countries should not try to welch on their promise of finance for developing countries to adapt to climate change and should also provide funds for displacement and migration, non-government organisations warned on the first day of the climate negotiations in Bonn, the last preparatory meeting before the Paris climate summit.
Director of the International Institute for Environment and Development, Dr Saleemul Huq, part of the Climate Action Network of 950 groups from 100 countries, told a media conference the obligation of rich countries to provide financial assistance to developing countries had changed in the treaty text to a question of developing countries being ‘eligible’ for finance assistance.
“The (treaty) text says countries can be eligible for funding that is a very weasel word from the original framework convention on climate change where rich countries have an obligation to help developing countries adapt to the impacts of climate change,” said Dr Huq, a scientist and lead author of the chapter on Adaptation and Sustainable Development in the third assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
“They now seem to be trying to get out of that obligation by saying countries need to be eligible for funding and that seems to be a retrograde step.”
Dr Huq said while it was good news that loss and damage from climate change were included in the draft treaty text, it was currently “ all hat and no trousers” and did not have a finance mechanism to fund it and also failed to recognise migration and displacement.
“If we don’t tackle immigration in the climate change arena you ain’t seen nothing yet in terms of migration,” Dr Huq said.
Half of the $100 billion promised by wealth countries should go to adaptation in vulnerable developing countries.
“These demands are still not met in the text and are not mentioned,” Dr Huq said.
Climate Change Advisor for Greenpeace Nordic, Jens Mattias Clausen, said for the Paris climate summit to succeed countries need to ‘walk the talk’, matching strong statements outside the treaty process with a strong negotiating position inside the diplomatic process.
Clausen emphasised the need for strong clear five year commitment periods so that greenhouse gas reduct targgets can be ramped up starting from 2020.
“One of the problems here is the EU which keeps talking about how it wants a stronger agreement while at same time opposing 5 year commitment periods,” Clausen said.
“If they want a stronger agreement they’re got to walk the talk and fight for this as well.”
Climate Diplomacy Programme Leader, for E3G, Liz Gallagher said the typhoon in the Phillipines at the moment “is a reminder that even at 0.8 degrees climate change is not a safe bet.”
“Bonn is really a test how we bring in that political momentum into this process,” Gallagher said.
“With only 4 days of negotiating time left before Paris we needed to make the landing zones for Paris super clear.”