133 Countries Walk Out of UN Climate Meeting over Global Warming Compensation Row
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The G77+ China group of 133 countries walked out of the United Nations climate change conference in Warsaw on the Loss and Damage mechanism after developed nations refused to agree to terms.
In Wednesday’s session, G77+ China negotiator Juan Hoffmeister walked out of a closed-door meeting when delegations from the industrial block refused to agree that the mechanism for such compensation is needed now and not after 2015 when a new climate change agreement is expected to be signed in Paris.
Hoffmeister said that key elements of the mechanism were missing from a weak draft.
“We want the draft to be strong. We are with G77. We support very strong steps for loss and damage, and anything that does not fulfill that should be highlighted,” Indian Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan said after the walk out.
As part of the demands, the developing countries want developed nations to honor a 2009 Copenhagen pledge to provide up to $100 billion by 2020 for environmental damage, RT reported.
"The 100 billion is a goal we need to establish a very clear roadmap," said Natarajan. "Unless that is provided for, it will be impossible for us to take forward any meaningful discussion and we feel the negotiations will be rendered completely meaningless," she told journalists.
Representatives of the poorer nations argued that the financial burden associated with global warming is out of reach for them.
Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete said while his country is trying to allocate funds for climate change, the costs are "just too high".
Poland's envoy Marcin Korolec, chairing negotiations, commented saying that the discussion was "challenging".
"We could not have predicted the economic darkness that we have all lived through for the past five years."
Another stumbling block in the negotiations is sharing the future emissions curbs, as developing nations want to create a UN body charged with compensating for environmental damage.
"Developed countries need to do more... now, and not transfer all the burden of climate change to the poor of the world after 2020," said Natarajan.
Washington has opposed the position saying that a deal under which "the developed countries would be treated in one way, in one section of the agreement, and developing countries in a different part of the agreement" was a "non-starter", US negotiator Todd Stern said.
Stern also explained that Washington had contributed about $2.7 billion in 2013, "the highest number that we have had in the last four years".
Russia’s climate envoy and presidential advisor Alexander Bedritsky argued that a separate loss and damage mechanism is not needed and that the new deal should be based on the principles of the Framework Convention on Climate Change.