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Green Climate Fund and Responsibilities of Major Emitters

As a result of global warming, melting of glaciers, unprecedented rains and droughts will occur more frequently in the future. Since it is a global problem; it requires concrete global efforts to reverse and halt the change by taking bold and committed actions by the world community.

He 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference was held in Durban, South Africa from 28 Nov to 11 Dec to establish a new treaty to limit carbon dioxide emissions. The delegates of 194 countries attended this 17th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Primary focus of the conference was to secure a global climate agreement before the expiry of Kyoto Protocol first commitment period (2001-2012). Progress on agreements, reached at the 2010 Conference at Cancun, was also reviewed that includes “cooperation on clean technology, forest protection, adaptation to climate impacts and transfer of funds from rich countries to poor in order to help them protect environment. The establishment of a Green Climate Fund was also sought.

The Green Climate Fund, which is yet to be established, meant to disburse funds to help poor countries adapt to climate impacts.  In Cancun Climate Talks 2010, developed countries promised to provide 100 billion dollars under this fund to deal with climate change impacts starting from 2020. A report to finalise the terms of the GCF by a committee was stalled by the US and Saudi opposition. The US has also backed out of its promise to guarantee annual contribution to the GCF. Similarly, South Korea, Germany and Denmark did not agree to put any money into the fund.

To prevent more than 2 C of global warming at least 6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide cuts are required, however, the delay to take concrete actions will continue to pose threat to the existence of many of the world’s people and places.
Till GCF becomes operational, we have to look for countries’ voluntary commitments which are not foreseeable in near future. To prevent more than 2 C of global warming at least 6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide cuts are required, however, the delay to take concrete actions will continue to pose threat to the existence of many of the world’s people and places. Asia, no doubt, will be the most severely affected continent because of the changes associated with global warming. Parts of Bangladesh, Maldives, India and almost all of Pakistan are likely to suffer the most as Pakistan has already begun to feel the impact. The devastating floods of 2010 and 2011, indicate what may lie in the future.

As a result of global warming, melting of glaciers, unprecedented rains and droughts will occur more frequently in the future. Since it is a global problem, it requires concrete global efforts to reverse and halt the change by taking bold and committed actions by the world community. Currently, China crossed the US and became the most atmospheric emitter. Emissions by America declined due to downturn in the economy while by China they continue to increase. China’s emissions in 2010 were at 6.9 g tonne of carbon dioxide while by US were 5.28 g tonnes. India became the third largest emitter with 1.6 g tones while Brazil’s emissions are at .38 tones. The EU 27 countries together let 3.6 g tones of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This change in relative emitters’ position created a new situation as was witnessed in Durban, South Africa at the time of concluding of the conference.

The responsibility of major emitters has increased manifold, keeping in view the enormity of catastrophe that the world is witnessing in the form of climate change impacts and has also endangered the very existence of many a people and small islands, to play proactive role in the establishment of Green Climate Fund and make their contribution to help poor countries so that the world could become a safer place to live on.
The Durban Summit concluded in an agreement that has been accepted by Global Climate Community. For the first time, developing and developed countries will agree to create a legal framework that should be binding on all parties to be written by 2015, and will come into force after 2020.The delay was the result of a battle between two groups: the first i.e. European Union and least developed countries and small island states, which stress for a speedy, faster cuts while the other group i.e. US, China, India, Brazil, South Africa seeks to resist pressure for faster and quicker progress towards achieving the goals.

In the wake of increasing death every year environmental refugees, sea level rise, looming threat of disappearance of small Islands, ocean acidification, desertification of region, loss of biodiversity at the level of extinction and destruction of economies, it seems quite irrational to postpone the agreement till 2020 while the spending of d 1 dollar in adaptation to climate change could save 60m dollar in damages. Pakistan is one of the countries that will receive funding from GCF if finalized after 2020. Now it is incumbent upon us to come up with concrete policies and programme aimed at addressing the problem. The responsibility of major emitters has increased manifold, keeping in view the enormity of catastrophe that the World is witnessing in the form of climate change impacts and has also endangered the very existence of many a people and small islands, to play proactive role in the establishment of Green Climate Fund and make their contribution to help poor countries so that the world could become a safer place to live on.

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