While Ban's remarks echoed the concerns of China
and a few other developing countries, majority of rich nations including the US
and European Union cited that most of the emissions now come from the developing
world and China has overtaken the US to become the world's top carbon polluter.
Leaders of rich nations rather pleaded to lift the firewall
between developed and developing countries that guided the
climate process since
last two-decades as it no longer
remains relevant in a dramatically changing world economy.
Issue of finance
Finance emerged as the most
contentious issue. Pressing that "the core issue is finance,"
China's chief negotiator Su Wei said. "If we can solve that then we
have a good foundation for others." But US’ denial of having any
obligation to provide cash till 2020 only further infuriated the
Mentioning that pledges for finance
are yet to be fulfilled, India’s deputy minister in the environment
ministry, Mira Mehrishi, said, "No funds have flown to the green
climate fund despite three years of its creation. This is one task
that must engage our greatest attention. Resources need to be found
and provided without casting a burden on those who are adversely
affected by climate change. This is a matter of urgency."
Only Britain and Germany, among more
than 20 rich countries, have pledged, so far, to provide cash until
2015 and, may be, even after.
India presses on Equity
In the climate summit at Doha, India
reiterates its stand taken in 2011, i.e., “equity is central to any
debate on climate change”.
Chief Indian negotiator at the 18th UN
Conference of Parties on Climate Change, R R Rashmi, said while
speaking in a side event organized by Centre for Science and
Environment (CSE) and the Indian ministry of environment and
forests, “In Doha, there is a general sense of agreement on the
principal of equity per se. The challenge now will be to make
the world agree on operationalising equity – equity cannot remain
just an idea, it should become an operational principal.”
“Equity, in fact, is the pre-requisite
for effective action in this area – there can be no effective deal
at Doha without equity. However, in global negotiations, equity has
become an inconvenient word,” said Sunita Narain, director general
of CSE adding, “And the Durban Platform should give us the
foundations to build on. It should create conditions so that the
world can move to low-carbon, and leapfrog to cleaner technologies,”
“The Indian government should take a
principled stand and walk out of the Doha climate talks if equity is
not made a part of the deal,” Sunita urged.
both Ms Narain and Mr Rashmi agreed that the principle of equity
would establish the road map for now and future. "Developed countries are not fulfilling their
obligations and are trying to rewrite the climate convention at
Doha," they pointed out.
US stand frustrating
"Just weeks ago, President Obama's
post-election victory speech displayed a vision of a second-term
priority for addressing climate change,” said Kumi Naidoo about the
stand of US at Doha while strongly reacting to the statements made
by the US negotiators saying, "It is disrespectful of President
Obama to inflict on us negotiators who act as if the comments he
made after his election were never made."
The hopes raised across the world
after US President Barack Obama’s post-election speech and his
statement on occurrence of the super storm Sandy are almost
shattered in the Doha summit for climate change ‘COP-18’. It’s to be
noted that issues like climate change and global warming became
suddenly relevant, politically, and featured as subjects of election
campaign only after the super storm Sandy hit the US east coast when
America was closing the day of presidential elections.
The hopes of the world sustained,
even, till the US delegation boarded the plane to Qatar at the end
of November, post presidential polls, for the global climate summit,
Jennifer Morgan, a climate expert at the World Resources Institute,
offered a bit of unsolicited advice saying, "I think there will be
expectations from countries to hear a new voice from the United
States," quoted Jorg Schindler, in
New Hopes Dashed that came in
Spiegel International’s online edition. Schindler also opined that
Morgan's appeal seemed to have gone unheeded when US President
Barack Obama's climate envoy Todd Stern stood before reporters in
Doha for the first time and “did what he has been doing for years:
He lowered expectations.”
Todd Stern claimed, "has done
quite significant things" on the climate front "in the president's
first four years" citing at the improvements in building insulation
as well as federal support for promoting renewable energies. The
statement made United States’ unwillingness to make significant
concessions in the global climate conference.
18th Doha summit made no significant
progress on any single issue. With most of the EU member states
avoiding to play a major leadership role and the US appearing
uninterested, the Doha summit moves to end as another summit without
making any difference.
New Hopes Dashed: US Disappoints at Doha
Climate Talks, Jorg Schindler, Spiegel International
Frustration over lack of climate cash for poor
countries rises in Qatar, John Vidal, The Guardian
Ban Ki-moon: rich countries are to blame for
global warming, Associated Press Report published in The Guardian
WORLD CLIMATE SUMMIT 2012, World Climate Ltd.