ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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An Assessment of COP23

Climate Action and theNorth–South Divide

At COP23 in Bonn, notwithstanding the United States’ announcement of its withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, the developed countries remained united in diluting or reneging on their commitments to developing countries, particularly on the issues of finance, and loss and damage. In a concerted pushback, the latter obtained a few important procedural gains, including bringing back to the negotiations the issue of equityin the implementation ofthe agreement.

Following the general celebration that attended the signing of the Paris Agreement, the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at Marrakech in November 2016 was already something of a let-down, coinciding with the election of Donald Trump, the arch proponent of climate inaction, to the presidency ofthe United States (US). A year later, with the expected announcement of the US’ withdrawal from the Paris Agreement having come true, COP23 (Bonn, Germany, 6–17 November 2017) began with two interrelated issues being of keen interest. One was what the attitude of the US would be in the negotiations, since, by the terms of the Paris Agreement, it would be three years before their withdrawal would take effect. The second was the progress that would be made towards the implementation of the Paris Agreement under the circumstances and who would be, as the global media would have it, the “climate leader” in the event of the withdrawal of the US.

If one were to go by the statements of the heads of state of the Group of Seven (G7) following the announcement of the withdrawal of the US, or the general buzz of the global and Indian media, COP23 was to affirm that the “leadership” of the US would be replaced by that of the European Union and other developed nations. Further, with this leadership—and with the cooperation of China, India and other countries, of course—matters would proceed forward smoothly with the Paris Agreement.

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Updated On : 26th Dec, 2017

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