Sunday, December 13, 2015, Agrahayan 29, 1422 BS, Safar 30, 1437 Hijri

Liabilities and compensation buried forever in Paris
World Climate Accord adopted
Published :Sunday, 13 December, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 73
Banani Mallick from Paris
The 195-nation UN Conference of Parties (COP 21) Paris summit approved Saturday an accord aiming to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius after a two-week long grueling negotiation.
French Foreign Minister and COP 21 president Laurent Fabius banged the gavel to declare the adoption of the deal in the evening session at Paris suburb of Le Bourget.
Earlier at a pre-noon session Fabius released the accord, partly legally binding and partly voluntary, in presence of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and French President Francois Hollande. The Paris pact apparently seeks to lead the world away from fossil fuel-driven economy.
The accord includes measures to peak greenhouse gas emission as soon as possible, to keep world temperature rise to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius and to strive to limit it to 1.5 degrees C, to review the progress every five years and $100 billion a year climate finance for developing countries.
There were cheers to greet the announcement of the adoption of the accord but murmurs of discontent and dissatisfaction was not very distant.
ZiaulHaqueMukta, EquityBD/CSRL said the Agreement has failed to provide any direction in which year countries will be at their peak in emitting Green House Gases (GHGs).
"It is good to see that the Decisions acknowledged that the measures taken by countries to reduce GHHs are inadequate and insufficient,"
The draft did not mention any deadline for peaking. In order to achieve the long- term temperature goal set out in Article 2, Parties aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible (but they did not mention specific time).
The article 2 also suggests about the objective of its holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degree Celsius above pre- industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change, increasing the ability to adopt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development, in a manner that does not threaten food productions, making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate resilient development.
He also added that in 2010-2012 the language we had on displacement, mitigation and planned relocation-is missing here.
Here in Paris decision has been taken to form a "Taskforce" on displacement without saying anything on its future.
He also noted that as Decision 52 of the COP agrees that article 8 of the Agreement (on Loss and Damages) does not involve or provide a basis for any liability or compensation.
"Our text is the best possible balance, a balance which is powerful yet delicate, and enables each country to go back home with its head held high and having achieved something important," Fabius told the gathering as the final draft of the agreement reached.
He said the latest draft calls for keeping global warming "well below" 2 degrees Celsius.
It also called for long-term goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees.
The draft also addressed the European Union demand for five-year cycles to review climate plans with pressure to make them more ambitious over time, is also in the draft.
The nations will sign the agreement at United Nations headquarters in New York at a ceremony in April 2016. The process for signing of the agreement will remain open for a year until April 2017.
Dr. SaleemulHuq, climate expert said that although they tried to their level best to include the Liabilities and Compensation in the draft but failed due to US. "Paris COP 21 is not the end, we will get others platform too to get approve this issue of liabilities and compensation, he added.
He also said that still the finance issue is unclear, like who will provide finance and which countries will accept it has not clearly mention in the draft.
Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA), a coalition of over 141 civil society groups from South Asia today termed the final text for Paris climate treaty as durable and dynamic for but has fallen short on being fully fair and responsive to future needs.
Sanjay Vashist, Director, Climate Action Network South Asia said,"If adopted by the 21st conference of parties today, all the countries in the world will have to agree to act together on climate change and all of them will have to make effort reflecting their common but differentiated responsibilities and capabilities to pursue efforts to limit temperature rise to 1.5C that the existing INDCs will not be able to achieve. The onus is now on developed countries to fulfil their promises and scale up climate finance flows to support mitigation and adaptation efforts, especially for most vulnerable countries."
Rezaul Karim Chowdhary, Executive Director of Coastal Association for Social Transformation Trust (COAST) of Bangladesh said : "The 'Most Vulnerable Countries' have lost their right to claim liabilities and compensation for 'Loss and Damage'. Countries like Bangladesh will not be able to seek assistance from richer nations and we will be left alone to face up to these disasters. Those who have polluted the planet most have gone scot free in this iteration of text."
Vositha Wijenayake legal expert from Sri Lanka of CANSA said: "The Paris Agreement provides the basis for a compliance mechanism which provides for the opportunity to address climate change. It also has ensured that the entry into force will be an effective one, with a two trigger entry into force system, which will ensure that there is increased effectiveness when the Agreement comes into effect.
Anoop Poonia, Climate Finance Expert of CANSA: "There is a gap between future requirements of vulnerable countries and what is agreed in the text as a 'fixed amount per year'. The developed countries have put a time limit on their responsibility to lead in providing finance for a long-term problem they have caused. Adaptation finance needs have been short changed as the focus of the draft agreement still remains on mitigation."

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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