Little progress reported at UN climate change conference in Bangkok


UNITED NATIONS, Sep 9 (APP):Climate negotiators in Bangkok made progress on several issues to set a framework for implementing the landmark 2015 Paris accord, but hit a stumbling block over details behind a plan for developed countries to spend $100 billion a year to finance projects in the developing world, according to reports received here.
“Climate change talks wrapped up in Bangkok today, leaving several issues still to be resolved,” the U.N. said in a press release.
The extra round of negotiations in Bangkok from Sept. 4 to Sept. 9 was meant to deliver progress in preparation for a final round of talks in December in Katowice, Poland, United Nations Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa in a briefing in Bangkok.
“Only limited progress has been achieved here in Bangkok,” Espinosa said. “For Katowice to be successful, work needs to be sped up.”
Delegates from 178 nations spent the week narrowing down options for a rule book for the Paris accord, in which rich and poor nations alike pledged for the first time to limit greenhouse gases. Ministers are expected to take final decisions in Katowice.
The talks in Bangkok were an extra round needed because not enough progress was made at the previous gathering in Bonn in May. The U.S. is involved in the talks, even though President Donald Trump has vowed to pull out of the Paris deal.
The rule book will outline how countries should meet their Paris goals, including how developed nations will help finance projects in developing ones. The rich nations’ spending commitment is due to start in 2020.
Details about the financing were among the most contentious topics in Bangkok. Poorer countries want developed nations to report on their pledges every two years, while developed countries argue that their budgetary cycles make that difficult.
Disagreements also arose over how countries should be treated when it comes to reporting progress. Developing countries are arguing that they should be given more leniency since they don’t have the same resources.
The chasms on such issues were so wide that delegates were unable to narrow down the options for those parts of the rule book, and instead asked the co-chairpersons of the panel to keep working on the text after the summit’s end.
If that goal is to be reached, urgent work is needed in the coming weeks, said Executive Secretary Espinosa: “In Bangkok, there has been uneven progress on the elements of the climate change regime that countries are working towards. Clearly, we need to increase climate action significantly. Clearly, fully implementing the Paris Agreement is the way to do this in a balanced, coordinated manner that leaves nobody behind.”
Country representatives have been working on ways to increase action to deal with the impacts of climate change, increasing support for developing countries “ in the form of finance, technology cooperation and capacity-building“ and, crucially, limiting global temperature increase this century to well below 2C, ideally limiting the increase to 1.5C through emission reductions.
Key concerns include the way in which actions are regularly and transparently communicated, clarity on financing the actions, and how to reflect the contributions and responsibilities of developed and developing countries.
On this point, Ms. Espinosa was clear that the Paris Agreement strikes a delicate balance to bring all countries together: “We must recognize that countries have different realities at home. They have different levels of economic and social development that lead to different national situations.” she said.
The negotiations are taking place at a time when the world has witnessed flood-related deaths, livelihoods wiped out by droughts and expensive infrastructure lost across large stretches of the developed and the developing world.