India seeks 'ambitious outcome'
at climate summit
By Joydeep Gupta
(Poland), Dec 10 (IANS) As the ongoing climate change summit
gets to its final days amid an overall feeling that nothing
is happening, India has sought a strong statement of intent
from the international community to fight global warming.
ongoing global financial crisis has had a major adverse impact
on the Dec 1-12 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
(UNFCCC) summit in this western Poland city.
countries have put into the atmosphere almost all the extra
greenhouse gases that are warming the world. Climate change
is already leading to lowered farm output, more frequent and
more severe droughts, floods and storms and a rise in sea
level, with developing countries bearing the brunt of the
industrialised countries that had earlier committed financing
and technology transfers to developing countries to help them
combat climate change are now stepping back, citing lack of
US government delegation, which had obstructed progress towards
the fight in earlier summits, is quiet this year, but its
place has been taken by Japan, Canada and sometimes New Zealand
Japanese delegate said at a plenary session of the summit
that industrialised countries could not be expected to become
"the ATMs of the world".
this backdrop, as over 9,000 delegates wonder what to do,
a senior member of the Indian government delegation said:
"My country is impacted (by climate change). I want an
ambitious outcome (in Poznan) which is equitable and fair."
The bureaucrat spoke on condition of anonymity.
pointed out that India had submitted constructive proposals
on all areas of action needed to fight climate change, such
as a shared vision for long-term cooperative action to fight
climate change, how developing countries would take action
to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in ways "measurable,
reportable and verifiable" as long as they received the
money and the technology to do so and how mechanisms to reduce
deforestation and degradation could be improved.
the Indian delegate did admit that one of the main expected
outcomes of the Poznan summit - a "negotiating text"
for a global treaty that could be finalised by the end of
next year - was unlikely to be ready by Friday.
said the "negotiating text" would now probably be
ready in time for an UNFCCC meeting of all member countries
scheduled in Bonn next June, and actual negotiations were
likely to start only in September next year.
that gives us plenty of time before December," he said
contrast, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer was Tuesday
not at all confident of a "fully elaborated outcome"
by the next climate summit in Copenhagen in December 2009.
"We should be careful not to reach too far and achieve
nothing," he said.
he did expect a "clarity on commitments from industrialised
countries, including on numbers, for the Copenhagen summit,
plus some form of engagement on mitigation of greenhouse gas
emissions from major developing countries.
what form it will take is not clear to me. Economic development
and poverty eradication in developing countries must not be
current Poznan summit is the first time ministers are meeting
after the Bali summit last year, and the last time they are
scheduled to meet before the Copenhagen summit, de Boer pointed
out, adding that he expected the ministers to give a strong
political push to the negotiators so that the fight against
climate change was taken up more vigorously.
the many issues over which the Poznan summit is stuck the
biggest one is the dispute over who would administer the funds
meant for least developed countries (LDCs) to adapt to climate
Adaptation Fund (AF) proposed for LDCs to cope with climate
change effects is stuck because these countries want "direct
access" to the money without having to go through the
onerous processes of the World Bank which administers most
environment funds. But industrialised countries are uneasy
with the idea.
Boer said Tuesday that on the AF, "the glass is now two-thirds
full. We have agreed on direct access to the fund through
accredited national agencies".
many LDCs do not have any "accredited national agencies",
and de Boer added the debate about whether their governments
could access these funds directly was still going on, and
may be left to the ministers to decide.
Gupta can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)