13 December 2015: “The final Paris Agreement is a nail in the coffin for justice for LDCs”, said Azeb Girmai, climate lead for LDC Watch. “We have gradually seen the text change from the long-standing ‘polluter pays principle’, where developed countries would finance adaptation and mitigation to help developing countries deal with climate chaos to one where the wealthiest countries are refusing to commit any climate finance. In the revised text, “new and additional” climate finance committed in the 1992 Convention has now been dropped out”.
These negotiations have operated on the principle that “might is right”, said Prerna Bomzan, LDC Watch policy advocate. “In the last few days we have seen how the United States and the EU have been pressuring especially the small island states to drop “compensation or liability” in Loss and Damage. In the final text Article 8 of the Agreement does not involve or provide a basis for any liability or compensation, referring to Loss and Damage.
The much-trumpeted ‘coalition of ambition’ which has agreed to keep temperature rises to 1.5C is a meaningless media gimmick, as the emissions’ targets to which countries have committed themselves will raise temperature levels by 3C, and they have not revised their targets to adjust to the 1.5C target.
Since the opening of negotiations, there has been a radical change throughout the document, where the text has changed towards shifting the burden to developing countries in terms of emission cuts and finance. This is very worrying as the developed countries are determined to rewrite the rules of the Convention, which has steered action against climate change for the last 23 years.
In addition, LDC Watch notes that “The key principles of historical responsibility, equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities have now been weakened with reference to ‘reflect’ instead of ‘in accordance to’ the Convention”.
So we see a future in which, if there is no change, the LDCs will be submerged, flooded, made into arid deserts, with no money to prevent or compensate this.
However, while this is a very sad day for LDCs, we are determined to continue working for climate justice. While we may have lost this battle, we have not lost the war, LDC Watch concluded.
Azeb Girmai, Climate lead, LDC Watch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Prerna Bomzan, Policy Advocate, LDC Watch: email@example.com
Daphne Davies, LDC News Service, at: firstname.lastname@example.org