By Pratch Rujivanarom
After the six-day Bangkok Climate Change Conference concluded on Sunday without members solidifying rules and procedures listed in the Paris Rulebook, observers noted that many details of the guidelines, including issues on climate finance and differentiation, are still being debated upon by Paris Agreement signatories.
Harjeet Singh, emergency adviser for ActionAid Asia, said the atmosphere at the talks in Bangkok and progress on the Paris Rulebook were insufficient for progress towards the Paris Agreement’s climate-change stabilisation goal as the stances of many developed countries towards climate-change issues are a cause of great concern.
Singh said many wealthy countries showed lower interest in mitigating climate change and refused to provide funds to help developing countries pursue their pledged commitments on cutting down greenhouse gas emissions and strengthening their countries’ climate resilience. “The Paris Agreement is on the brink. Developed countries are going back on their word and are refusing to agree on clear rules governing climate finance. If they remain stuck in their positions and fail to loosen their purse strings, this treaty may collapse,” he stressed.
He explained that without financial support from rich developed countries, poorer developing countries would not be able to pursue their commitments because they simply do not have the funds to sponsor decarbonisation efforts and economic transitions.
According to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), each signatory to the Paris Agreement pledged two different greenhouse gas reduction goals – conditional commitment and unconditional commitment – as their nationally determined contributions (NDCs).
Unconditional targets are considered voluntary and can be implemented without outside support, while conditional target is more ambitious and requires financial support.
“Eventually the developing countries will pull out from the Paris Agreement and resume reliance on fossil-fuel based industry to sustain their economy,” Singh cautioned.
“We have a mountain to climb before the next climate summit this December. Finance ministers must now step in and deliver on the promises made in Paris.”
The Climate Action Network also stressed that the world needed significantly stronger political will and more ambitious decarbonisation commitments to make the Paris Rulebook effective and prevent the rise of global mean temperatures beyond 2 degrees Celsius.
Climate scientists believe the world has less than four or five years to stabilise global temperatures and ensure the increase in mean temperatures remains less than 2 degrees.
Meanwhile, the Paris Rulebook needs to be finalised by December, as the Paris Agreement signatories will discuss and adopt this essential guideline at the upcoming 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP24) in Poland.
Meanwhile, Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of the UNFCCC, said it was clear that we needed to boost climate action and fully implement the Paris Agreement, but it was also critical to achieve a balance across all issues.
“The Paris Agreement strikes a delicate balance to bring all countries together. We must recognise that countries have different realities at home. They have different levels of economic and social development that lead to different national situations,” Espinosa pointed out.