Bolivia’s chief negotiator Diego Pacheco stated that his country and 21 other allied countries — including major emitters such as China, India, and Saudi Arabia — would not support the entire section on climate mitigation. This was the strongest opposition to the summit’s draft agreement, which was published Wednesday.
China, India, Saudi Arabia and others are all members of the Like-Minded Developing Countries Group Pacheco was speaking about. CNN reached out to none of them for comment.
He argued that developing countries should have the same targets and history in climate change as rich nations. He accused rich countries of trying to “transfer blame” to the Global South.
“History matters, and it is very important to understand history and to place it in the context of the discussion on ambition,” said he. He stated that net-zero emissions would be impossible for many of the countries in the group by midcentury.
Money is at the heart this sentiment. He stated that such a transition wouldn’t be possible if rich countries didn’t pay their fair share — even for developing countries to adapt the crisis’s effects. This week, developing nations have complained repeatedly about climate finance. It has become the biggest obstacle to progressing the talks.
Catherine Abreu (founder of Destination Zero), a non-profit that works on climate justice, stated that Bolivia’s announcement is essentially a negotiation tactic. The underlying issue was more about demands for more money.
“The draft text was so mitigation focused that I think that announcement was an act,” Abreau stated to CNN. He said that the message was meant to signal that other parts would be “held hostage” by the countries.
Teresa Anderson, a Climate Policy Coordinator at Action Aid International, said that the suggestion to delete the mitigation section was “clearly a punch against the face of people living from the climate crises.”
Frans Timmermans is the vice president of the EU Commission. He ridiculed this call as illogical and said that there was “no money on the earth” that could create adaptation to withstand the extreme temperature increase that would occur if mitigation were abandoned.
The rich world is still short on funding promises
In a conference trying to close the gaps, the most important gap between what humans are willing and what is actually required to prevent catastrophic climate change is the one between what they can do and what they cannot.
However, this is expensive and there are good reasons for developing countries to be unhappy.
The frontlines of climate change are more developed countries than the wealthy, and they have played a lesser role in creating the crisis.
The money promised has not been received in full.
Over ten years ago, rich nations agreed to transfer $100 million a year to developing countries in order to aid their transformation to low carbon economies and adapt to the climate change. Adaptation can include everything from building sea walls to stop flooding to moving communities from the coast to retrofitting homes to withstand extreme weather events.
Anger against the US brews
In addition to the money needed for adaptation, the developing countries also want new payment systems for “loss or damage.” This basically means that wealthy countries will be financially responsible for the effects of the climate crisis. This is the idea behind climate reparations.
A senior US official indicated that funding the Santiago Network is being considered. This UN body was set up to provide technical assistance to developing countries trying to recover from the impacts of climate change.
The US is not open to the idea for a new loss and damage fund, as many developing countries want. The European Union also said the same.
There is also growing anger at the United States. A representative of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (a group of approximately 50 nations) stated Thursday that the Biden administration was not meeting its financial obligations. He praised Nicola Sturgeon, the leader of Scotland, the only country that has committed any money to a loss and damage fund, with £2 million Scottish pounds ($2.7 million). It’s symbolic, but it is a small amount that shows that such a fund might be possible.
“The true leader who emerged at COP26 has not been a party to the convention. She is our host, she’s the First Minister of Scotland,” Saleemul Huq (the forum’s expert advisory chair) told journalists.
“Just before COP started, she put a billion pounds of Scottish money on a table for a new loss and damage fund and challenged all leaders to match it. Yesterday, she doubled this amount. She is the true leader, who puts money on the table in order to avoid loss and damage. The US is not giving us any dollars. Europe is giving us zero euros. But Scotland has given us two billion.”
A sign featuring Biden and the message “Has it kept its $100 billion promise?” was found behind him. NOPE!”
“You can’t refuse to do anything”
CNN’s he said that “the developing countries are coming to us with a few demands, and climate financing and loss and damage is the most important.” “If the US is going say no to everything, that’s a problem. This will lead to China’s desires. China can relax and enjoy the fight between the developing and developed countries.
Eickhout stated that you can’t say yes to everything. And if you want to have a review mechanism for accelerating mitigation, then it will be the question: “OK, but is finance evolving?” If you don’t deliver on loss or damage and you haven’t delivered your $100 billion, what are you getting in return?
All of this is based on the continued use of fossil fuels by humans. CNN was informed by two sources familiar with the negotiations that Australia, Russia, China, and Russia opposed an article in the draft agreement calling to end fossil fuel subsidies and the elimination of coal.
Any mention of fossil fuels within the agreement would be a significant breakthrough for the COPclimate process.
Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil producer. Australia is a major producer of coal. Russia is a large producer of oil, coal, and gas. China is the largest consumer and producer of coal in the world.
CNN has not received a response from any of these countries.
CNN sources said that China is unlikely support the language about fossil fuels. Reporters asked Xie Zhenhua on Wednesday whether China would support this section. However, he didn’t answer directly and listed all of China’s plans regarding coal and finance.
Saudi Arabia’s Energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al-Saud declared Wednesday that the world should accept “the diversity of climate solutions…without any bias towards or against any specific source of energy.” Reuters reported that he reacted to allegations that his country was blocking the process by calling them “lies and fabrications”.
CNN’s Ella Nilsen and Amy Cassidy contributed to this report.