Developing nations seek acceleration of climate action

Speaking on behalf of the developing nations, the special representative of the Group of 77 and China stressed that there can be no enhanced action without enhanced support. Developing countries cannot accelerate climate action without the provision of scaled-up financial resources and technology by the rich countries.

SPEAKING on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, Manasvi Srisodapol, Special Representative of the chair of the G77, told the joint closing plenary of COP 22 in Marrakech that the needs of the developing countries should be given the highest priority for two reasons: they bear the brunt of the increasing adverse effects of climate change, and they are also the least equipped to cope with this problem on their own.

'It is of utmost importance for us to send a clear message to the global community that we must all be part of the global climate solution,' he said at the conclusion of the meeting on 18 November.

'We are pleased that the Marrakech Conference was able to achieve some clarity, and good progress has been made.'

This includes the adoption of the terms of reference and initial work plan for the Paris Committee on Capacity-building (PCCB); the established linkage between the technology mechanism and the financial mechanism; the indicative framework for the five-year rolling work plan of the Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage (WIM); and the conclusion of the Third Comprehensive Review of the implementation of the framework for capacity-building under the Convention and under the Kyoto Protocol.

Nonetheless, he warned, there remain outstanding issues which require further discussion after Marrakech.

The Group has placed a priority on scaling up of finance, in particular adaptation finance.

'There can be no enhanced action without enhanced support. Support enables action and action needs support. Enhanced action needs enhanced support in the provision of scaled-up financial resources, technology and capacity-building. Action must cover both adaptation and mitigation,' the Special Representative declared.

He reiterated that adaptation is a matter of urgency for developing countries whose capacities to carry out actions to cope with the adverse impacts of climate change are limited.

'We therefore urge that progress in implementing the Paris Agreement must reflect balance between adaptation and mitigation.'

He said: 'We came to Marrakech with a challenging task, the challenge of turning agreements into action. COP 22 can indeed be considered a "COP for action".'

The speedy and unprecedented entry into force of the Paris Agreement signals the level of urgency and importance leaders and the international community attach to combating climate change.

'We are here to accelerate climate actions, and this has been underscored by the Marrakech Action Proclamation which we endorsed yesterday and the tireless efforts of the High Level Champions over the past year.'

While the Paris Agreement has entered into force at an unprecedented speed, it is regrettable that the same cannot be said about the Doha Amendment, he noted.

After nearly four years, only 73 parties have deposited their instruments of acceptance to the Doha Amendment. The Group reiterates that the unfinished business of the pre-2020 actions and ambition, which are long overdue, must be urgently addressed.

The Group sees the Kyoto Protocol as a fundamental building block in its post-2020 efforts. 'We urge all Parties that have not done so to ratify the Doha Amendment expeditiously.'

Meanwhile, speaking earlier on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, Surasak Karnjanarat, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of Thailand, declared that countries of the Group have been the most affected by the adverse impacts of climate change.

'Yet we are taking ambitious measures in line with our capacities. Developed countries must support our endeavours,' he said.

Reiterating the G77 stand, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on developed countries to deliver on their pledge to mobilise $100 billion per year by 2020 in support of climate action by developing countries.

The Paris Agreement, which entered into force on 4 November, was years ahead of expectations, Ban said, with 111 countries, accounting for more than 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions, having ratified the agreement.

The Secretary-General ap-plauded the bold leadership shown by many of the world's most vulnerable countries, many of which are in Africa, to strengthen their ambition and to move as quickly as possible toward a 100% clean energy, climate-resilient future.

Karnjanarat said the G77 would like to highlight the implementation phase of the Paris Agreement, as applicable to Parties that ratify the agreement:

First, the delicate balance achieved in Paris must be preserved. It is crucial to ensure transparency, inclusiveness, a Party-driven process, and balance of all issues and across all work plans of subsidiary bodies.

'We must reaffirm the provisions and principles of the Convention, in particular, equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities as reflected in the Paris Agreement.'

Second, there is an urgent need to enhance the pre-2020 ambition, including the expeditious ratification of the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol to provide a strong basis for post-2020 efforts under the Paris Agreement.

Third, capacity-building support for climate action is critical for developing countries and should be based on and responsive to national needs, foster country ownership, and be participatory and cross-cutting.

Fourth, developing countries require additional, adequate, predictable and sustainable climate financing to transform their economies to climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions.

The Group noted the efforts by developed countries for the formulation of a roadmap to achieve the floor of $100 billion per year by 2020.

'We reiterate our call for developed-country Parties to enhance ambition on the provision and mobilisation of support, and to achieve a balance between adaptation and mitigation finance, including by setting a target to quadruple resources allocated to adaptation from public and grant-based sources by 2020.'

Fifth, technology development and transfer is also vital. The technology mechanism needs to be enhanced to support the rapid transfer of technologies from developed countries to developing countries, helping them to innovate and develop their own technologies.

Concrete enhanced actions on technology development and transfer and strengthening of the linkages between the technology mechanism and the financial mechanism are required.

Karnjanarat also pointed out that direct access of all developing-country Parties to the Convention and Paris Agreement to means of implementation, including finance, technology transfer and capacity-building provided by a multilateral supporting mechanism, should be simplified and granted.

'For us, adaptation remains a priority. Developing countries are the least contributors to climate change, however, we are the most affected. In order to increase adaptive capacity and resilience, we require the implementation of guarantees of the Paris Agreement in terms of the means of implementation.'

At the conclusion at COP 22, the Secretary-General said the Marrakech outcome 'powerfully reaffirms continued strong global support for the Paris Agreement on climate change and demonstrates the determination of all governments to implement the agreement as quickly as possible.'

He noted that all countries understand that climate action is essential for their security, economic prosperity and the health and well-being of their citizens.

Global cooperation rooted in strong national action is essential, the Secretary-General said, pointing out  that  no  country,  irrespective  of its size or strength, is immune from the impacts of climate change, and no  country can afford to tackle the climate challenge alone. - IPS/G77

*Third World Resurgence No. 316, Dec 2016, pp 18-19