04/12/2015 4:51 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

COP 21: South African Negotiator Embarrasses Richest Nations Over Funds To Combat Climate Change

PARIS -- "Finance will make or break" the climate change negotiations, said Nozipho Joyce Mxakato-Diseko, a diplomat from South Africa, who is presently chairing G77+China, a huge block of developing nations from India to Tuvalu.

Mxakato-Diseko embarrassed the richest nations from trying to wiggle out of their commitment to provide $100 billion every year from 2020. She said that developing nations had agreed to take action for combating change even though the global crisis was not of their making, but developed countries had to meet them half way by providing finance and technology.

During a press conference on Thursday, the negotiator called out these parties for "ballooning the text" by using phrases like "parties in a position to do so," and pushing to "introduce economic conditions in the finance section" (a developing country's capacity to mobilise resources).

"We don't know where this new language is coming from and what is its intention. But we know that it creates conditions that does not enhance trust ...there are countries that are being wiped out, losing economies," she said.

"We have seen that the world has asked of the G77+China. We feel a moral call on us to come out of Paris with an agreement. Equally, that has been felt by the European Union. In between there are countries that must be called on morally. Nobody is asking them to do anything. These are countries that jumped out of the Kyoto Protocol on the slightest of excuse or did not ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

We cannot continue to diminish the level of ambition because we are tiptoeing around these countries. We think that if we do not accommodate them then we will lose. They feel free to waste time in the negotiations. Just blast us, throw new language without a sense of responsibility that impairs the process."

Nozipho Mxakato-Diseko - COP21


They feel free to waste time in the negotiations. Throw new language without a sense of responsibility.

Almost 200 countries have gathered for the U.N. Climate Change Conference to reach an agreement on how to stop global temperature from rising above two degrees Celsius over preindustrial levels, and avert the worst consequences of climate change. But combined CO2 emissions reduction targets submitted by developed nations, so far, will limit temperature rise to 2.7 degrees Celsius.

While Mxakato-Diseko did not name specific countries, it was the United States which never ratified the Kyoto Protocol, Canada withdrew from it in 2011, while Russia, Japan and New Zealand rejected further commitments under the only legally binding treaty on climate change.

"We don't name and shame in this process. But they name us. Our developed partners have felt free to name us," she said, when asked by a reporter to identify the countries.

In response to a question, Mxakato-Diseko asked what does 'parties in a position to do so' even mean.

"In my family, I tell my children you will clean your room. I do not say that someone will clean the room. I say, you John will clean the room. I say, you Grace will do the dishes. There is no someone 'in a position to do so' will wipe the floor. I need accountability, I really do need accountability. I need to know above all that the floor has been cleaned," she said.

I need accountability, I really do need accountability. I need to know above all that the floor has been cleaned.

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