BONN, Germany, Oct 23 — Disputes over financing for poor nations hampered negotiations today among almost 200 nations racing against the clock to seal an accord on combating global warming before a UN climate summit in Paris in December.
Some delegates said they feared a repeat of the 2009 summit in Copenhagen when governments last tried, and failed, to seal a deal, though others said they remained confident of reaching an accord at the November 30-December 11 meeting in Paris.
“We are extremely worried about the pace,” Amjad Abdulla, who speaks on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States, said on the last day of week-long UN talks in Bonn, the final preparatory session for Paris.
“Many issues are still far from where they need to be,” echoed Elina Bardram, who heads the European Commission delegation.
Developing nations insist climate finance is the core issue and all sides reported scant progress on the issue in Bonn.
Poor nations want clear promises of rising contributions from industrialised nations beyond an existing goal of US$100 billion (RM423 billion) by 2020, from public and private sources, to help them curb greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to changes such as floods and droughts.
Rich nations led by the United States and the European Union want to make vaguer pledges beyond 2020 and for Paris to include new donors such as China — now outside the US$100 billion plan — which last month pledged US$3 billion for developing nations.
The Bonn talks were likely to end with a draft agreement for Paris of about 40 pages, double the length at the start of the week with many nations re-inserting national demands on issues ranging from cuts in greenhouse gas emissions to ways to police an accord.
“Developing countries need Paris to be a success — we have no other option. For developing countries climate change is a matter of life and death,” said Nozipho Mxakato-Diseko, South Africa’s delegate who speaks on behalf of more than 130 developing nations and China.
On Thursday night, Claudia Salerno, representing Venezuela, said demands by poor nations were being ignored, adding: “I have seen this movie ... I hope this is not going to be a really, really nasty bad second Copenhagen”.
Nations were also split over how far the Paris text should include a new mechanism for loss and damage, meant to help emerging nations cope with the impact of droughts, hurricanes and rising sea levels.
“Finance and loss and damage — it’s like a brick wall,” said Alden Meyer, of the Union of Concerned scientists. — Reuters