Climate change: Thailand, Indonesia reluctant to commit to financial help

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Bangkok street flooding_Arno Maierbrugger
Typical flooded street in Bangkok after a heavy tropical downpour © Arno Maierbrugger

Nearly 200 nations approved an international deal to slow global warming at the World Climate Change Conference 2015 in Paris this weekend and agreed to a set of principles and goals that could ratchet back the pace of global warming.

A compromise has been reached to prevent global temperatures from rising by more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial averages, an increase that many scientists believe is the maximum amount of warming the planet can sustain without massive disruptions in natural ecosystems.

The difficult thing is that this agreement needs to be adopted by each country, but there could be some nations that don’t go along. The legal nature of the deal – whether it will be binding or not – has also been a hotly debated topic during negotiations.

Discussions are ongoing on how the environmental measures will be financed. While the European Union and the US agreed that  that climate finance shall be provided by developed countries – whose industries were mainly responsible for global warming in the past -, other countries “in a position to do so” should also take part in financing – a hint towards developing countries, including China and India, which are already a big source of greenhouse gas emissions and will remain so in the future.

However, Indonesia and Thailand, Southeast Asia’s largest and second-largest economics by GDP, already signaled that they are reluctant to fully commit to climate financing, particularly for other, financially weaker countries.

The Thai climate conference delegation to Paris has been refusing to commit to any financial assistance for undeveloped countries’ efforts to combat climate change, openly rejecting the proposal by developed countries that developing countries should also contribute. The Thai delegation argued that developed countries “accept the responsibility” for funding developing and undeveloped countries’ efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions as a historic obligation.

Thailand has pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20 to 25% until 2030, but to achieve that target, it will need international climate finance itself.

The Indonesian climate delegation said discussions need to be held on how obligations are being divided between developed and developing countries based on their “common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities”. Developed countries must take into account that the capacity of developing countries was not all at the same level, the delegation noted, adding that the term “in a position to do so” could refer to a number of solutions.

Indonesia is one of the biggest air polluters in Southeast Asia owing to its annual forest fires, a result of illegal slash-and-burn practices to create farmland, causing massive environmental, social and economic devastation.

The US is of the opinion that the term “in a position to do so” referred to a “voluntary basis”. Developed countries would push ahead with financial aid, but developing countries “which have the capability” should also contribute, so that an ambitious climate target can be achieved. Least developed countries would be favoured by the wording, as it would create a larger pool of funding for their climate change action.

China, as a responsible developing country, already said it will take “worldwide obligations” commensurate with its own national condition, development stage and actual capacity.

The financial goal to combat global warming was set in Copenhagen in 2009 and includes raising climate funds of $100 billion a year by 2020 from developed countries to help developing countries transit to low-carbon economies. About $62 billion were pledged in 2014.

 

Do you like this post?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Typical flooded street in Bangkok after a heavy tropical downpour © Arno Maierbrugger

Nearly 200 nations approved an international deal to slow global warming at the World Climate Change Conference 2015 in Paris this weekend and agreed to a set of principles and goals that could ratchet back the pace of global warming.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Bangkok street flooding_Arno Maierbrugger
Typical flooded street in Bangkok after a heavy tropical downpour © Arno Maierbrugger

Nearly 200 nations approved an international deal to slow global warming at the World Climate Change Conference 2015 in Paris this weekend and agreed to a set of principles and goals that could ratchet back the pace of global warming.

A compromise has been reached to prevent global temperatures from rising by more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial averages, an increase that many scientists believe is the maximum amount of warming the planet can sustain without massive disruptions in natural ecosystems.

The difficult thing is that this agreement needs to be adopted by each country, but there could be some nations that don’t go along. The legal nature of the deal – whether it will be binding or not – has also been a hotly debated topic during negotiations.

Discussions are ongoing on how the environmental measures will be financed. While the European Union and the US agreed that  that climate finance shall be provided by developed countries – whose industries were mainly responsible for global warming in the past -, other countries “in a position to do so” should also take part in financing – a hint towards developing countries, including China and India, which are already a big source of greenhouse gas emissions and will remain so in the future.

However, Indonesia and Thailand, Southeast Asia’s largest and second-largest economics by GDP, already signaled that they are reluctant to fully commit to climate financing, particularly for other, financially weaker countries.

The Thai climate conference delegation to Paris has been refusing to commit to any financial assistance for undeveloped countries’ efforts to combat climate change, openly rejecting the proposal by developed countries that developing countries should also contribute. The Thai delegation argued that developed countries “accept the responsibility” for funding developing and undeveloped countries’ efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions as a historic obligation.

Thailand has pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20 to 25% until 2030, but to achieve that target, it will need international climate finance itself.

The Indonesian climate delegation said discussions need to be held on how obligations are being divided between developed and developing countries based on their “common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities”. Developed countries must take into account that the capacity of developing countries was not all at the same level, the delegation noted, adding that the term “in a position to do so” could refer to a number of solutions.

Indonesia is one of the biggest air polluters in Southeast Asia owing to its annual forest fires, a result of illegal slash-and-burn practices to create farmland, causing massive environmental, social and economic devastation.

The US is of the opinion that the term “in a position to do so” referred to a “voluntary basis”. Developed countries would push ahead with financial aid, but developing countries “which have the capability” should also contribute, so that an ambitious climate target can be achieved. Least developed countries would be favoured by the wording, as it would create a larger pool of funding for their climate change action.

China, as a responsible developing country, already said it will take “worldwide obligations” commensurate with its own national condition, development stage and actual capacity.

The financial goal to combat global warming was set in Copenhagen in 2009 and includes raising climate funds of $100 billion a year by 2020 from developed countries to help developing countries transit to low-carbon economies. About $62 billion were pledged in 2014.

 

Do you like this post?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid