'Rich nations should upscale their emission reduction targets'
Doha: On the penultimate day of the Doha climate talks, the BASIC countries, including India, today demanded that rich nations upscale their emission reduction targets as well as financial pledges to enable a viable outcome from the meeting.
As hectic and messy behind the door parleys continued, the negotiators of the BASIC countries suggested that lack of commitment on financial support to poorer countries to address mitigation and adaptation issues was turning out to be the major issue holding up progress.
Making a joint press appearance the heads of delegations of Brazil, South Africa, India and China said they were clear that they will not leave Doha without an agreement on the second commitment period of Kyoto Protocol and wanted higher pledges on reduction from the rich nations whose current set goals were "insufficient".
They also said that they wanted a clear quantitative financial commitment for both mid term and long term finances to be provided for the USD 100 billion Green Climate Fund that is yet to fully take off, three years after it was established.
"I think there is no country that says that a second commitment period for KP is not needed, but the question is of ambition of emissions reduction. The present targets are insufficient in meeting the scientific demands to limit warming to 2 degrees over pre-industrial levels," said Chinese Vice-Minister for climate Xie Zhenhua.
He said another core issue was that of finance where developing countries were seeking solid quantitative commitments.
He said at least six countries had made some announcements that they will mobilise financial resources in the mid term and other developed countries should "learn" from such forward movements and make their due contributions.
"We have seen some countries who are experiencing economic difficulties agree to put forward financial pledges, when they can why can't the others come along. Countries should honour their commitments," he said.
He said the BASIC group wanted more financial pledges, including from the US, as the current pledges were "far from enough".
He said mid term finance needed to get started from next year and parties must make sure they had "a quantitative figure" before leaving Doha.
"G-77 and China are working together to make sure we do not leave Doha with more onerous demands on developing countries without the necessary (financial) support," said the South African representative.
The statements came on a day when typhoon-hit Philippines led a host of countries in making an emotional plea to rich nations to salvage the climate talks as civil society groups warned the Doha round was on "brink of disaster".
Civil society groups came heavily on the role of the US in the talks, many calling its negotiators as the biggest stumbling blocks to a fair outcome particularly on the issues of finance and technology and IPR.
The developing countries had earlier in the week made strong protests after issues most relevant to them, including technology transfer and financial help, were relegated to the backburner as the rich nations insisted on focusing more on a post 2020 climate deal that will bring all major polluters including India and China under some kind of obligations.
Following a vociferous protest, discussions were started to address their concerns and moves were made to bring fresh drafts and texts on the table.
India negotiator Meera Mehrishi said that good progress had been made on the Durban platform talks that were discussion broad contours of a post Kyoto deal but cautioned that its success will in many was hinge upon the successful conclusion of past agreements and commitments made by developed countries.
"In India we are doing a lot in the energy sector from our domestic budget. The energy intensity has come down. As a country we are doing a lot to reduce emissions and we are managing with our own resources but financing is very important," she said articulating India's concerns.
The developed countries had promised to raise climate funding for poor countries to USD 100 billion per year by 2020, up from a total of USD 30 billion in 2010-2012.
G77 countries have said they need at least another USD 60 billion in mid term finance between now and 2015 to deal with impacts of climate change like floods, storms and droughts, though there has been little money placed on the table.
"(The texts are) still under development, groups are still meeting, some figures have been given but it is a matter of negotiation. There is also lack of clarity on GCF, some believe only the long term finance will go into the GCF, though the fund was supposed to cover mid term finance as well," said a cautious Indian negotiator R R Rashmi.
"People are moving constructively now, under LCA after the initial setback people are now engaged, this is a positive sign. ADP has moved very well. Work will be based on equity but how it will be articulated remains to be seen," he said.