(2016-11-19)The UN climate conference concluded here on early Saturday morning with negotiators from over 190 countries setting a deadline of 2018 to finalise rule book for operationalizing the Paris Agreement.
They also agreed on a clear roadmap to meet that deadline. The Paris Agreement, meant to take various climate actions by all countries post-2020 to save the world from disastrous consequences of global warming, had entered into force on November 4. The pre-2020 action is being covered by the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 where only developed nations are supposed to take actions to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.
The rules to implement the Paris climate deal will be framed in such a way that it can take care of transparency of action of all countries as per their respective pledges under the Agreement which was adopted by 195 countries in December last year.
The rules will specify the ways and means for measuring and accounting of emissions reductions in all countries. It will also have a mechanism to mobilise climate finance to help the developing countries in taking adaptation measures.
Though the Conference (COP22) was scheduled to conclude on Friday, the negotiations on tricky issue of 'finance' forced it to continue till early Saturday morning. Many developing countries including India expressed its concerns over the draft text. Though the text was adopted after assurances of further discussion on it in the run up to the next Conference in Bonn in 2017, it left many questions unanswered - specifically on the absence of a clear roadmap to mobilise USD 100 billion by 2020 as promised by rich nations.
Even the President of the Conference (COP22) Salaheddine Mezouar noted the issue of climate finance which has become a bone of contention between developed and developing countries. He said, "It will be necessary to respect the commitment of USD 100 billion from now until 2020. Faced with the magnitude of what is required for dealing with the impacts of climate change, turning billions into trillions is indispensable. 2017 must be the year of large scale projects, of mobilizing finance, and accessing financial facilities that will be necessary for adaptation".
Members of the civil societies and think-tanks too reacted on the issue of finance which has been eluding the developing countries for long.
"Parties (countries) were not prepared for this meeting as Paris Agreement entered into force much ahead of what was anticipated. Therefore, there has not been much progress on Modalities, Procedures and Guidelines (MPG) to operationalize the Paris Agreement with discussions being shifted to the next climate talks", said Chandra Bhushan of the New Delhi-based think-tank Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).
However, the Conference here made progress on many fronts outside the processes of the UNFCCC.
Businesses, investors, cities and local governments during the two-week COP22 issued new climate change commitments, adding to the thousands announced in the run up to the Paris climate conference last year.
Signing of the framework agreement of International Solar Alliance by as many as 23 countries - including India, Brazil, France and Bangladesh - during the COP22 was also a significant step towards taking the nations to a clean energy path.