Honour climate change pledges, Kenya urges
Posted Tuesday, December 4 2012 at 10:32
Kenya has urged developed countries to honour their financial commitments to poor countries to help reverse the negative effects of climate change.
Environment permanent secretary Mohammed Ali in an interview with the Nation Monday said developed countries had two years ago in Copenhagen, Denmark pledged to disburse a Fast Start Finance of $30 billion between the years 2010 and 2012 to their developing counterparts.
The funds were meant to encourage poor countries take immediate action on climate change and to help them in adaptation and mitigation efforts.
Further, the rich countries also pledged to raise $100 billion a year by 2020, under the green climate fund launched in Durban South Africa last year, for the same purposes.
“Our concerns from the developing world and Kenya in particular is what happens between December 2012 and January 2020," said Mr Ali.
|The reality of climate change affecting our development options cannot be overstated. We will continue pushing the developed world to make provisions for a midterm financial mechanism.
"For us climate change is a survival issue. We cannot waste time in conferences without action," he said.
Last week, lobby groups from Africa raised a similar concern, expressing dismay at claims by developed countries that they had successfully delivered all their pledges under the First Start Finance.
According to the groups, Australia, Canada, Japan, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, US as well as the EU had announced that they had delivered the $30 billion and even exceeded it by $3 billion.
Mithika Mwenda, the coordinator of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance said only $23.6 billion of the amount promised had been delivered, most of them in loans but not grants.
"This is totally unacceptable and it demonstrates lack of integrity in the negotiations, thereby promoting mistrusts in the already fragile multilateral negotiations…Where are the billions mentioned suddenly come from?” posed Mr Mwenda.
The PS says even though there has not been much progress in the talks, he hoped with the expiry of the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol at the end of the year, countries that had ratified the protocol will ensure that they put in place mechanisms for the implementation of the second phase that has been scheduled to commence on January 1.
"Our expectation is that countries that had committed themselves to the Kyoto Protocol will have to put mechanisms in place to ensure that the second commitment period , which is expected to begin in January next year goes on smoothly,” he said in an interview with the Nation.
"We have already received assurances that mechanisms will be in place for this second commitment period will commence in time."
On Monday, lobby groups said the UN Climate talks remained blocked by the US and EU and other rich industrialised countries as they refused to discuss finance commitments, leading to an "empty page" proposal on the issue in a draft text circulating at the conference.
Fiery negotiations continued after the Chair of the talks proposed a draft-text that included a blank, white page under the heading "finance" reflecting the push by rich industrialised countries to block progress on the issue.