India asks for immediate funds to fight global warming
Warsaw: India on Wednesday asked rich nations to immediately start supporting developing countries facing "loss and damage" due to global warming, after officials from G-77+China staged a walkout from negotiations over funding at the ongoing UN Climate Change talks here.
"We totally agree with the G-77 position. This is a very dilute, very weak draft (on loss and damage) and we totally support the walk out," Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan leading the Indian side at the COP 19 summit at Warsaw, the Polish capital.
Her comments came hours after representatives of the group staged the walkout from the venue of informal contact group meeting after rich nations, including US, Australia and the EU said that the question of loss and damage and who should pay compensation cannot be deliberated in the next two years.
India supported the protest and asked the rich nations to address the issue of "loss and damage" as a priority.
"It is an extremely diluted one and absolutely no commitment to the loss and damage. This is not something that we can accept. We are part of the G-77," Natarajan told reporters.
Interestingly, India is not completely on the same page with G-77+China on the issue. While the G77+China says that a UN mechanism should be set up to oversee compensation, India suggests that for the time being the issue can be addressed through a separate window to be created through the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
"In the meantime the funding can be through the Green Climate Fund and the mechanism should be established and started immediately," an Indian official said.
Officials said that the GCF is already functional. If a new mechanism is to be created, it will take another five years and there will not be any immediate fund flow to address the extreme weather events in developing countries, they added.
Indian officials were not present when the walk out happened this morning at 3.45 am.
"We were not there. But we support their position especially in the backdrop of extreme weather events in India, the Philippines and wherever they happened," Natarajan said.
Last year's Doha Climate Change Conference established a programme to look at how to address loss and damage associated with climate change impact in developing countries.