By Betwa Sharma
Posting in Environment
DOHA -- Developed nations industrialized, then realized the harm. New emissions guidelines threaten emerging economies' success. Will one help the other?
DOHA, Qatar -- At the United Nations climate change talks here, developing countries demanded that the developed world raise money from 2013 to 2015 to help them combat the consequences of climate change through 2020.
The annual U.N. talks from Nov 26 to Dec 8, attended by 194 nations, ended with no such pledge. Instead, the discussion on “mid-term” finance was pushed to next year.
A handful of European nations made individual commitments. United Kingdom and Germany, for instance, announced climate finance assistance of over $2 billion each. But activists noted that individual pledges outside the U.N. process were not a substitute for a collective agreement.
Climate change funds presently fall into two categories. Fast-start finance comprises of $30 billion from 2010 and 2012. Developed countries say that they exceeded this target by almost $3 million.
Developing countries, however, accuse developed countries of re-branding official development aid as climate money.
Under long-term finance, developed countries have agreed to raise $100 billion annually to be used after 2020.
At Doha, developing countries expressed concern about the gap in funds from 2013 to 2020 since fast-start finance ends this year. They asked rich countries for a “mid-term” pledge of $60 billion for this period to be raised by 2015.
The talks in Doha, however, ended without a road-map to raise money. Jonathan Pershing, a senior negotiator from the United States, only said that finance after 2012 “will not fall of a cliff.”
Developing countries want this money to cope with climate change-induced problems like droughts, floods, pest attacks as well as extreme weather events that cause massive displacement of people and loss of property.
Tim Gore, a climate finance expert from the United Kingdom-based Oxfam, warned of a “looming climate fiscal cliff.”
The developed world’s reluctance to adopt a mid-term funding plan is seen as a combination of budgetary constraints and lack of political will. Analysts also point out that negotiators from developing countries don’t have a bargaining chip that could compel developed countries into giving them money.
During the climate talks, developing countries also asked developed countries to show higher ambition in their carbon dioxide emission cuts.
The climate talks ended with a low carbon reduction commitments. Only a handful of countries and the European Union, representing 15 percent of the world’s emissions, signed up to a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, the only legally binding treaty on climate change. They set an overall target of reducing carbon emissions by 18 percent from 1990 levels by 2020.
Developed countries like Russia, Japan, Canada and New Zealand, which believe that emerging economies like China and India should also reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, have not taken emission cuts under the Kyoto Protocol.
The United States, not a party to the treaty, has not increased its current ambition level of reducing its carbon dioxide emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels- approximately four percent from 1990 levels.
The United Nations Inter-governmental Panel, a scientific body, has noted that emissions cuts of 25 to 40 percent from 1990 levels are needed to limit the global average temperature rise to two degrees Celsius. The decision in Doha includes a provision for developed countries to increase their emission-reduction targets by 2014 to match these higher estimates.
Global warming is being linked to the increasing intensity of extreme weather events around the world – most lately Hurricane Sandy in the United States that left over 100 people dead in the northeast region and caused damages of $ 50 billion.
During the talks in Doha, Philippines was hit by Typhoon Bopha, which has killed more than 700 people and displaced hundreds of thousands.
“We refuse to make this a way of life,” said Nadarev “Yeb” Sano, the Philippines head of delegation said at the conference while emotionally appealing for action.
Negotiators also agreed to begin work on a new climate agreement from next year. The drafting of this treaty, which will apply to all countries, is to be completed by 2015 and adopted by 2020. Obligations under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol only applied to developed countries.
Financial needs of poor nations give developed countries leverage in the talks. Some observers see the delay in giving money as a tactic by developed countries to secure more commitments from developing countries for the new climate treaty being drafted over the next three years.
In view of the China and India’s growth trajectories, questions are often raised at climate conferences about whether large emerging economies need aid from developed countries. Both countries did not take money from the fast-start fund of $30 billion.
Still, India’s economic progress is not clubbed together with China’s growth.“India is a different country with millions of people living in desperate poverty,” said Gore from Oxfam. “It needs international assistance for low carbon development and adaptation.”
Speaking at the conference, United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon placed the financial burden of climate change on developed nations.
“Developed countries must give their clear indications that scaled-up climate financing will flow after 2012, and that it will be commensurate to the goal of mobilizing $100 billion dollars a year by 2020 from public and private funding,” he said.
Photo: Sally Shatz
Dec 11, 2012
The commitment of the industriaized countries, all of them, to give finance and technology to the developing countries is rooted in an international treaty negotiated under the U.N. system. The rationale also comes from the fact that the global warming problem has arisen mainly from the greenhouse gases emitted by the richer countries - those who industrialized earlier. The logic of the treaty - the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change - is not open to question.
Why do people keep referring to the US as a wealthy nation? As a society we have among the highest per person personal debt levels in the world. As a nation we owe other nations over $16 trillion. We are a debtor nation. So put your hand in your pocket and stop begging from me. Have you got a dollar to spare? I could use it.
and yet, the "climate change" shysters continue perpetrating the hoax on the world, and millions of people fall victim to the attempted theft of resources. The governments of those "developing countries" aren't doing anything to help their people, and giving them money to "combat" climate change, is as stupid as flushing money down a toilet. When poverty is the biggest problem that a "developing country" has, combating climate change is the last thing that should enter their minds.
Here we go...Don't worry, little "developing country," the "rich" Americans will save you from the climate change monster.
One more vast pot with a big hole in the bottom as wealthy nations pour money in it and the less wealthy nations leaders build new condos and buy exclusive sports cars.
Here's the real punchline: [i]"Developing countries, however, accuse developed countries of re-branding official development aid as climate money.[/i] These climate meetings are actually "spoils conferences" where wealthy nations are expected to distribute vast amounts of money to less wealthy nations out of a sense of guilt as opposed to charity. It's embarrassing that so many fall for this. But since it's now an industry, it's easy to see why.
The treaty is open to questioning. The last time I looked, most of the world did not live in dictatorships. As a US citizen and a free citizen of the world I have a right to question the actions of my leaders. You and no one else can tell me otherwise. I have one key question. With China being well over 2 thousand years old, why is it considered a developing nation for this treaty? They are designated a nation with little responsibility while the US, heavily indebted to China, has to pay huge costs. That designation is complete BS and they know it. They are an industrialized nation and laugh at us when people like you buy their story and defend them as a poor developing nation. If you do not think they are industrialized just look at the wide spread industrial pollution in China for proof.
This statement says it all: [i]"The logic of the treaty - the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change - is not open to question."[/i] Sounds rather totalitarian when it stands alone, doesn't it?
Or could it be more about a people believing in their own propaganda, Like a fast moving train, that's been flying along for decades. Once enough people finally look out the window and see whats really going on. Takes a while to stop. Especially if your like the Republicans that live with blinders on all the time and see only what they want to see. (Sorry about making it personal for some)
We still have all of those big buildings, and we still have all of those cars on the road, and we still have all of those people living in "big homes" and and we still have all of those TV programs being viewed overseas making it look like the U.S. is floating on money. What those people don't see is the shrinking or empty bank balances, and the huge amount of debt that people get into in order to purchase all of that stuff that makes us "seem wealthy". All of that will be erased soon, when the economy will have collapsed, because, what we are doing, is unsustainable, and government is the biggest culprit for what's happened.
By GAAP standards, the average citizen of a "developing" country is soon to be far wealthier than your average American. The debt-per-citizen in the US is now well over $50,000 and climbing on steroids. (Greece is only about $40,000) IMHO, I believe that there should not be a single penny of this form of aid until our balance sheet is cleared. How much sense does it make to borrow money from China to flush down someone else's toilet?
Before "we" came along as you say, they did just fine. Until their populations and resources were stolen by Western Colonialism. By religious missionaries bent on saving the "heathen" and converting them to their religious idealism doing so totally destroying their ancient cultures and ability/knowledge to survive on there own. Institutions like WHO, supplying medical aid, and improving longevity but at the same time banning birth control so that population grew and was no longer sustainable. Sale of weapons to war lords to suppress what they do manage to eech out. That's how they managed to survive before "we" came along. They did just fine, it was the "we" that destroyed them and their way of life. Now along comes global warming be it natural, man made or just a temporary glitch in the climate doesn't matter . To many mouths on land no longer able to produce the necessities and the knowledge lost on how to survive. If "WE" had just had a "Prime Directive" and left them alone...
So I take it that you are the one here who is "blinder free"? If so, please answer this: If the President says he's interested in reducing the deficit, then why does he want to spend even more money and eliminate the debt ceiling while only raising taxes only on a few people enough to fund the government for a few weeks?
First, when I rhetorically asked "How did they survive?", I meant in terms of "climate". Regardless of what the crisis industrial complex says, the climate today is little more hostile than it was before we became a wealthy nation. Actually, it was the "western colonials" and missionaries who brought modern sanitation, medical aid, and food technology centuries before anyone conceived of the mega-NGOs. This charity did have the affect of lowering mortality and causing populations to balloon well beyond sustainability. Add to the tragedy the historical coincidence (or not) that colonialism, which at least brought order to mostly disorderly lands went out of vogue about the same time that Marxism had become hip in western academia, where most of the new leaders of these lands would be educated. The rest, is history, tragedy, or farce, depending on how you want to look at it. You're probably right, "the planet" might have been better off had we followed a "prime directive". But I doubt most of those people would have. The socialists of today wouldn't have accepted than notion any better than the colonialists of centuries ago would have.