Developed Countries: Show Your Capability to Lead!

20 December 2012


Henriette Imelda, Indonesia
Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR)

Attending COP in Doha probably one of the greatest things I have dreamed of. It’s 2012’s COP 18, where all eyes look to Doha as the negotiations roll on, and I’m there, waiting for the miracles could happen for the world as we combat climate change. The second commitment period of Kyoto Protocol would continue with more Annex 1 Parties on board. The Bali Action Plan will actually live up to its real means of implementation. The world will cheer, people would stand clapping their hands and poking each other’s shoulders. Some would hug colleagues from different countries. We’d share the same vision; to achieve the ultimate objective of the Convention that all Parties agreed upon in 1992. Pledges would flow in, both in emission reduction and climate finance- even more than what we, the CSOs, have been demanding. I was imagining that I’d able to speak before other CSOs and people in Indonesia, upon my return home, to tell them how miracles do happen in the international negotiation on climate change. I would describe a phenomenal negotiation process, despite the many people would had already lost their confidence in its effectiveness and its contributions to the world.

Yet, as I sat in the plenary 1 QNCC in Doha early Saturday morning, only a couple of hours before my departure back home, I was staring at the draft text of LCA, KP, and COP. All of those images I described of a balanced package had suddenly evaporated.

The number that has been agreed upon in Copenhagen for USD 100 billion per year up to 2020 is alright, but there isn’t any clarity from where that chunk of money will come from. We can’t predict whether it would be there annually, and we just don’t know how to track the money. Even for a mid-term period, from 2013 to 2015, we have no clue. Isn’t the Fast Start Finance period enough for us to learn? Developed countries should claim the climate financing from developing countries, yet we received nothing. It came in a development package that already exists. Nothing new, nothing additional, it’s just the same. Climate finance should be new and additional.

To me, the idea of developed countries having to ask developing countries for their NAMAs or Low Carbon Development Strategies is a betrayal. Some developing countries have already put their NAMAs on board; some have even done so voluntarily. Now, instead of providing the finance that supposed to go along with it in accordance to the Bali Action Plan, developing countries were demanded to do more, to be MRVed. Not only that, but we have to do a biannual update report. Can you imagine how much money we’ll need to come up with a two year report to state not only our emissions, but also the support we’ve got?
We need more for capacity building, as well as technology, to fulfill such kind of obligations. According to the Convention, developed countries should show us this leadership by pledging domestic emission reduction without offsetting, as well as financing. All of these should be done transparently through an MRV mechanism.

We’re not little kids that need to be told over and over again. We are grownups who should understand that every action has a consequence. It’s not fair to run away from your responsibilities while developing countries have to deal with all the damage.

What I saw from the Doha package that was offered was an imbalance. Not for me, not my country, not for my community. With 27% of populations not having seen a light in the evening and around 40 million households without proper access to modern energy for cooking, my country still put forth pledges to reduce emissions. We still need to develop, yet we have committed to develop in a lower carbon manner. We need to see something from the developed countries. Our population of more than 240 million people deserve more than what we have on the table now. Funding for adaptation for a country with more than 13, 000 islands, with the possibility for 115 islands to disappear by 2100, is highly needed as a grant, not a loan.

Dear developed countries, we’ve done our part, far beyond our limitations. Yours are truly hanging fruits. Why don’t you show us that you’re still capable to lead? At least, show that responsibilities in the coming legally binding agreements that should be applied from 2020 onwards. 

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