Wealthy industrialized nations stand accused of failing to deliver on short-term commitments on global climate goals, endangering the landmark Paris Accord, a bloc of 134 developing countries have warned U.N. negotiators in Bonn.
The dispute shows the difficulty of reaching a consensus uniting 196 nations, ranging from the core capitalist nations to the undeveloped and dependent nations with the most to lose from climate change.
"If we do not respect decisions that we have made, then how can we build trust among the parties?" Chinese senior negotiator Chen Zhihua said in reference to pledges by wealthy nations to enhance their financial support for curbing greenhouse gas emissions before 2020.
"And how can we lay a good foundation for the implementation of the Paris Agreement?" he told reporters in a press conference by diplomats from India, Iran, Nicaragua and Ecuador.
“The science is clear: if we don’t get our act together before 2020, you can forget about the 2C and 1.5C targets,” said Nicaraguan chief negotiator Paul Olquist, according to India's PTI news agency. “There has been a failure to comply with existing commitments.”
Ecuador, which heads the G77+China group representing 134 developing countries, noted its own concerns about the lack of progress on all financial matters.
Ecuador's foreign minister, Maria Fernanda Espinosa, said that a "great debt" exists in climate change that the industrialized countries "have to assume" and fulfill vis-a-vis the nations of the South.
Blasting U.S. President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Accord, she noticed the U.S. abdication provided "clear evidence of the lack of commitment and shared responsibility" by the wealthy nations of the world.
Given the "enormous" costs of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, she questioned the lack of resource commitments by the industrialized nations to the $100 billion Green Climate Fund (GCF), resources earmarked for the developing countries. The GCF is a financial mechanism which helps fund climate finance investment in low-emission, climate-resilient development.
Based on experts' calculations, she argued that the effects of reducing greenhouse gas emissions on countries like Ecuador "will cost about $US300 billion. The offering of the developed countries is $US100 billion and the money that has been provided is $US6 billion."
Iran likewise issued a scathing indictment of wealthy countries' track records during the U.N. Negotiations, claiming they are attempting to silence the nations of the Global South.
"So soon after the Paris agreement entered into force we are already seeing that trust and good faith being eroded by constant attempts to move away from prior agreements, solemn pledges and treaty obligations," said Iran's representative at the talks, Majid Shafie-Pour, noting that the wealthy countries have “immediately rejected outright” the developing nations' concerns.
In a separate interview, Iran's representative – who also is the spokesperson for the Like-Minded Developing Countries group – questioned whether the developed countries have any concern about reaching the accord's claimed goals.
“The developed country parties neither have the will, nor the intentions of taking any actions on the ground,” Shafie-Pour said.
“It has always been just talks, decisions, pledges that aren’t really worthwhile the discussions right now because the entire world awaits actions. We have been badly hit, our economies have been hit, our people have been hit by various weather events, by the droughts, by floods, by hurricanes, serious health emergencies... but the developed countries are only concerned about the economic growth and welfare of their citizens.”