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Adaptation-mitigation balance will be voluntary

Adaptation-mitigation balance will be voluntary

Vulnerable countries’ demand for balancing climate finance between adaptation and mitigation has eventually not been resolved in the draft agreement of the ongoing Paris climate talks.

The latest draft, which came out yesterday evening, said that balancing the finance will not be done “legally”; rather it would be “voluntary”.

The draft text reads that the provision for scaled-up financial resources “should’’ aim to achieve a balance between adaptation and mitigation, taking into account country-driven strategies and the priorities and needs of developing countries.

Parties, especially those that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, including LDCs, SIDS, and Africa, are considering the need for public and grant-based resources for adaptation.

However, yesterday morning, it was expected that the provision would be legally binding; the choice was between two words – “shall” or “should” – in the draft agreement.

The delegation from the LDCs from where the demand is being pushed for a long time, expressed concerns.

“By deleting the word ‘shall’ from the draft, now we are not getting what we have been expecting from Paris, particularly on balancing finance,” said Q.K. Ahmad, coordinator of the Bangladesh negotiating team.

The Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Small Islands and Developing States (SIDS) and the Africa Group have been demanding a provision that will ensure 50% of the climate finance for adaptation.

Out of the total climate financing dedicated for adaptation, 50% should go into the most vulnerable states, the demand includes.

A number of funds including the Green Climate Fund and the Adaptation Fund have been introduced in the last few years to finance action to reduce climate vulnerabilities.

However, these funds have so far got very little contribution, which could facilitate more climate action programmes in the vulnerable countries. For Instance, the Green Climate Fund was established in 2010 and it was supposed to get $100bn during 2013-2020 and a further $100bn each year from then on.

But till date, the fund has received only $10.2bn from developed countries.

Ahmad is now worried about the fund as the developed countries have never fulfilled their pledge.