World Climate Conference: Tell us how much money you are putting forward, India asks developed countries

New Delhi: With no clear roadmap yet on the mobilization of a promised $100 billion every year in climate finance, India on Tuesday asked the developed countries to reveal how much of this money they would contribute.
Developed countries have promised to “mobilize” $100 billion annually from 2020 to help deal with the impacts of climate change. This money is supposed to come from public as well as private sources. With just three years to go before the first tranche of $100 billion is to be made available, there is still no clarity on how the developed countries plan to raise the money.
However, the developed countries have been wary of discussing how much of this money they will make available from their own exchequer. Developing countries, on the other hand, want to see a substantial proportion coming from the government treasuries because that is much more predictable, and developed countries can be held directly accountable to that.
“We want the developed countries to at least give an indication of how much are they putting on the table. They cannot go on dithering endlessly. We need to know how the money is going to be raised,” an Indian negotiator said.
On the second day of the two-week annual climate change conference here, Law Minister Ravishankar Prasad raised this issue in the meeting of the Ad-hoc Working Group on Paris Agreement, which will finalize the rule-book for the implementation of climate accord. Prasad said the progress on the rule-book would be difficult in the absence of information on the extent of public finance being made available. He pointed out that the Paris Agreement itself made it explicitly contingent on the developed countries to communicate, every two years, “the indicative quantitative and qualitative information” related to climate finance being made available.
The developed countries have been arguing that they were not in a position to reveal the extent of public finance since that would amount to guessing their government’s budgetary outlays every year. Prasad countered that the actions that countries were supposed to take to fight climate change also required to be funded by the respective country’s budget. Despite that, he said, countries had all put forward their promised action plans for the coming years as required under the Paris Agreement.
“If that is the argument then all our actions can also not be predicted because they too are contingent on our budgets. What we are asking is not exact information (on finance), but just the indicative amounts. It is necessary to bring clarity and predictability on discussions related to finance,” the Indian negotiator said.
In the meeting, Prasad also pointed out the discussions on Paris Agreement were not progressing in a balanced manner. While there was a lot of emphasis on “nationally-determined contributions (the action plans of every country) and on transparency mechanisms, both of which stretched the capabilities of the developing countries, issues like finance and technology transfer were not being adequately discussed. The Indian intervention received support from a number of other developing countries.

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