Basic ministers seek US $30 billion for Green Climate Fund

Chennai, Feb. 16 -- The Basic group of countries (India, China, South Africa and Brazil) on Saturday sought US $30 billion for capitalisation of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) this year so that the developing countries can adapt to increasing dangers of climate change. Environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan said, after the meeting of Basic ministers, that US $30 billion was required to make the GCF, agreed in Cancun two years ago, operational in real terms. The developing world including the Basic countries has been critical of the rich nations of their failure to meet their commitment of US $30 billion dollars as fast track finance between 2010 and 2012. Zhenhua Xie, head of the Chinese ministerial delegation, said the rich nations have "failed to meet their commitment" on fast track finance and he expected them to provide minimum US $ 30 billion by 2015 and also provide a road map on allocating another US $100 billion by 2020 to the developing world. "It is in mutual interest of all parties to resolve the issue of future funding," he said, after two-day Basic minister conference in Chennai. Alfred James Wills, the South Africa climate negotiator, said the priority this year for the Basic would be capitalisation of the climate fund and to develop its "legal personality" along with ensuring money for technology center network and climate change adaptation framework. Wills also outlined that was a need for further clarity on regime to compensate for loss caused because of climate change induced natural disasters, called loss and damage, which was agreed at Doha climate conference in December 2012. The Basic countries have in-principle agreement on joining clean climate air initiative on short lived global warming causing gases but needed further inputs on its "additionality, supplementarity and complimentarity" before formally joining the United States backed initiative. The Basic ministers also emphasised on the need for the rich nations to raise mitigation and finance ambition under the Kyoto Protocol (KP), which was extended for another eight years at Doha, and under the United Nations climate convention for non-KP countries saying they have raised already done much more than required for controlling climate change. "The countries which are not part of the Protocol or have not joined its second commitment period must equally raise their ambition in the same timeframe and take comparable mitigation targets under the convention," the statement released after the meeting said. It also pointed out that the rich nations need to further raise ambition to make new market mechanisms under the convention work and promote environmental integrity. The minister also reiterated that the post 2020 climate agreement being discussed as Durban platform should be based on principles of equity and common but differentiated principles and should not re-negotiate the climate convention. The issue of European Union's carbon tax on the aviation sector was also discussed and the ministers said that it should adhere to multilateralism than unilateralism and should be based on the principles of UN climate conference.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.