Key questions remain unanswered

Key questions on whether developed countries would come good on earlier commitments to make available $100 billion annually by 2020 remained unsolved at the end of the Katowice climate summit. Moreover, a fundamental tenet — that developed countries and developing countries have ‘differentiated’ responsibilities towards addressing emissions — appeared to be threatened. One of India’s key negotiators, R.S. Prasad, Joint-Secretary, Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change, placed on record India’s apprehensions about the Global Stocktake (GST) plan. The GST, which will happen in 2023, refers to a periodic appraisal by countries on where the world stands vis-à-vis emissions. Stocktaking plan “India wishes to express its strong reservation regarding the treatment of equity in the Global Stocktake (GST) decision. Equity is specifically mentioned in Article 14 of the Paris Agreement… equity demands that the vulnerabilities, problems and challenges of the poor and marginalised be prioritised to ensure climate justice…” he said as part of the closing statements on Saturday. However, an official statement from the Environment Ministry on Sunday described the COP-24 as “positive” and put India and the world on a successful path to achieving the Paris goals. The Paris Agreement comes into effect in 2020. Then there was the outstanding issue of what happens to carbon credits — essentially carbon emissions that would normally have gone into the atmosphere but were prevented, due to alternate, cleaner sources of fuel being adopted by industries in developing countries. “Tensions between developed and developing countries continued and, this time, it was around how do we transfer emission reductions,” said Ajay Mathur, Director General, The Energy Resources Institute, who participated in several meetings at Katowice.

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