New Delhi: A controversial draft proposal from Denmark to break the climate change deadlock has come under fire from delegates representing the Group of 77 (G-77) developing countries at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, who say it overturns a key assumption behind global climate change negotiations.
“In effect, the Danish proposal amends the whole UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) balance of obligations and could eventually kill Kyoto (Protocol). The draft creates obligations for developing nations as well for mitigation and adaptation,” said a G-77 negotiator from the African bloc.
UNFCC and the Kyoto Protocol assume that poor countries should not bear the same climate change mitigation burden as rich countries. G-77 has said it is against any move to bury the Kyoto Protocol.
The Danish proposal, which still hasn’t been officially tabled, but was reviewed by Mint, blurs the line dividing developed and developing countries, other than those that are “most vulnerable and least developed”.
The Danish proposal also draws on an earlier declaration, in July, by the Major Economies Forum (which includes India) to limit the rise in average global temperature to 2 degrees above pre-Industrial Revolution levels and the Group of Eight’s recognition that the world needs to cut global emissions by 50% below 1990 levels by 2050.
Will they succeed? A 7 December photo of delegates at the opening session of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. The Danish proposal, which hasn’t been officially tabled, blurs the line dividing developed and developing nations, other than those that are ‘most vulnerable and least developed’. Bob Strong/Reuters
The proposal also mentions a “peaking year” for both developed and developing countries. It says: “Support the goal of a peak of global emissions as soon as possible, but no later than (2020), acknowledging that developed countries collectively have peaked and that the time frame for peaking will be longer in developing countries.”
Developing nations have vociferously objected to the idea of peaking emissions. Jairam Ramesh, India’s minister of state for environment and forests, said last week that a peaking year is not acceptable to India, South Africa, China and Brazil, and that any such push could trigger a coordinated walkout from the talks by these countries.
The African delegate added that apart from these objectionable ideas, the draft is also very weak in terms of setting up mechanisms for the flow of finance and technology from developed to developing countries.
The draft also offers no concessions on relaxation of intellectual property right (IPR) rules, which is the key to diffusion and deployment of existing clean technologies from developed to developing nations. The draft says that parties should enable accelerated large-scale development, transfer and deployment of climate-friendly technologies, while “respecting IPR regimes, including protecting the legitimate interests of public and private innovators”.
Mint had reported on the barriers in technology transfer on 4 December.
Denmark calls on developed countries to commit upfront public financing from 2010 onwards, at an average rate of $10 billion (Rs46,700 crore today) a year, for early action, capacity-building, technology, and strengthening adaptation and mitigation readiness in developing countries. The proposal, however, has no numbers on long-term funding.
“The climate deal reached in Copenhagen must secure deep emissions cuts from industrialized countries, together with predictable and additional long-term funding,” said Kim Carstensen, leader of the Global Climate Initiative from the World Wildlife Fund.