The outcomes of the 24th Conference of the Parties (COP-24) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), held at Katowice in Poland has been in favor of the developed countries and not developing countries.
- Under Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR–RC), it means that all countries are responsible for addressing global environmental destruction yet not equally responsible for causing it and contributing towards climate action of solving this problem.
- It recognizes the wide differences in levels of economic development between countries and historical emissions that were caused by developed countries.
- This differentiation means that there would be differences in contributions between developed and developing countries to address these problems.
- However, there has been substantial rollback of differentiation between the global North and South in climate action. This began with the Paris Agreement, when the developed nations were allowed to make voluntary commitments to climate mitigation, on par with the developing nations, without any benchmark to ensure the relative adequacy of their commitment.
- At Katowice, differentiation between global North & global South countries was further diluted with uniform standards of reporting, monitoring and evaluation for countries and has been done to ensure similarity between developed countries an large developing countries.
- At the final plenary of COP24, the Like-Minded Developing Countries grouping echoed India’s reservations on the neglect of equity and climate justice in the final form of the “rulebook”, while the broader G77 plus China combine expressed its regret at the unbalanced nature of the outcome, with its undue emphasis on mitigation by all.
- But with the “rulebook” nevertheless having been adopted, COP24 signals a global climate regime that benefits and protects the interests of the global rich, while leaving the climatic fate of the world, and the developmental future of a substantial section of its population, still hanging in the balance.