Delay in disbursing funds to poor countries disappointing: Ramesh

Sunday, February 27, 2011

NEW DELHI - Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh Sunday termed the delay in disbursement of fast-start funding by developed countries to poor countries as the “biggest disappointment” and “betrayal of trust”, saying this could make the atmosphere at the Durban climate change talks later this year “clouded with doubt and suspicion”.

“It is highly regrettable and most unfortunate that even after 14 months of the Copenhagen Accord, under the so-called Fast Finance Track window, there is hardly any significant disbursement. Unless the countries begin to see funds flowing, the atmosphere at Durban will be clouded with doubt and suspicion,” Ramesh told reporters here, after the sixth meeting of environment ministers from BASIC countries - Brazil, South Africa, India and China.

The BASIC countries were of the view that Cancun Agreement reached in December 2010 cannot be a substitute for the 2007 Bali Road Map.

“All of us welcomed the Cancun Agreements as they provided a stage for resolution of some outstanding political issues. We were equally convinced that the Cancun Agreements are not a substitute for the ‘Bali Road Map’ that is not present in the Cancun Agreements. BASIC countries will make every effort to bring these issues back in the main stream of global climate change negotiations,” Ramesh said.

He said the BASIC countries have identified three issues - equity, intellectual property rights and trade - that need to be brought to main negotiating agenda.

Giving details about the negotiations, Ramesh said: “We need to continue the negotiations in 2011 leading up to Durban in a spirit of inclusiveness and transparency. Many issues on which we need further clarity. Two most critical issues are of second commitment period of the Kyoto protocol and the issue of Fast Track Finance.”

The developed countries were supposed to provide $30 billion funding to least developed countries and small island nations by 2012.

“The disbursement has not even exceeded two digits,” he added.

The countries agreed that non-government experts from BASIC countries would work on a synthesis paper on equity for sustainable development.

Zhenhua Xie, China’s vice minister of the national development and reform commission and special representative on climate change, said: “We are going to safeguard the interests of developing countries to promote over all climate change negotiations process. The BASIC group will play a very active and constructive role in promoting over all process.”

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