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Rich countries falling short of climate commitments: UN report


KATOWICE: As the world prepares for transition to a new climate regime under the Paris Agreement, an assessment of the outcome of the ongoing efforts to slow down global warming finds that rich countries are falling short of their commitments.

A synthesis report prepared by the UN climate secretariat finds that industrialised countries reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by 13% between 1990 and 2016. However, projections show increase in emissions by the developed countries in the period after 2016. This would mean that in 2020, ahead of the transition to the Paris regime, rich industrialised countries can be expected to have reduced their emissions by only 11.4%.

When it comes to providing support to developing countries, rich industrialised countries are nowhere close to the promised minimum of $100 billion a year by 2020. The report states that financial support by developed countries reached $49.4 billion in 2016.

The report states that financial support increased by 13% between 2013-14 and 2015-16 reporting periods. This jump can be explained by the fact that for three years up to 2013-14, rich developed countries had pledged to provide developing countries with a sum of $30 billion over three years, known as fast start financing.

The pre-2020 climate regime puts the onus of reducing greenhouse gas emissions on rich industrialised nations, with poor developing countries taking on voluntary efforts. It also requires rich countries to provide poor developing countries with financial and technological support to tackle climate change and its impacts.

Developing countries have been calling for greater focus on the pre-2020 period. At the 2017 UN climate conference in Bonn, developing countries — particularly India, China, Brazil and South Africa — pushed for a formal discussion on the pre-2020 climate action.

The ensuing compromise put in place formal systems for assessing measures to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide produced and support in terms of finance and technology that industrialised countries provide to developing countries. This includes the $100 billion by 2020 that developed countries had pledged at Copenhagen in 2009 and Cancún in 2010.

The synthesis report produced by the UN climate secretariat is part of the compromise effected in Bonn.

Source: Economic Times