By Press TV
The United States has been “poisoning” UN-sponsored climate talks in Bangkok, Thailand, while environmental activists stage protests across the globe.
The 6-day talks between world nations aims to determine how to finance the fight against global warming.
The issue of how funds are made available to developing nations has emerged as a key sticking point at the talks, which have made little headway since they opened on Tuesday.
The Paris Climate deal — hailed as a game-changer when struck in 2015 — promised $100 billion annually from 2020 to poor nations already coping with floods, heatwaves and rising sea levels exacerbated by climate change.
US President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the landmark Paris agreement; however, Washington continues to take part in climate negotiations and this has created an obstacles for any further agreement.
Washington has tabled a proposal with support from Japan and Australia that seeks to remove rules on how countries account for their climate action funding, sources close to the negotiations told media.
This would mean that developed economies — responsible for the lion’s share of planet-warming-feeding carbon emissions — could still count commercial loans and pre-existing state funding as part of their finance obligations.
Observers in Bangkok said the US and some other developed economies were also refusing point blank to discuss the contentious issue of how rich nations inform other states of their future funding plans.
A senior climate negotiator told AFP that the US delegation in Bangkok was “poisoning” discussions aimed at creating a clear roadmap to implementing what nations agreed in the Paris deal.
“The US is no longer playing the game but it’s still setting the rules,” said the negotiator, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Another head negotiator accused the US and other developed nations of seeking to move the goalposts agreed in Paris.
“It is clear to us that there is no goodwill and willingness to advance on matters of upmost importance to developing countries,” said Majid Shafie-Pour, head of a developing country bloc that includes mass polluter China.
“The role of the US negotiators at the talks is actively hindering progress at this critical stage,” Harjeet Singh, the global lead on climate change for pressure group ActionAid, told AFP.
He also accused other negotiating blocs, including the European Union, of “standing on the sidewalk” by failing to stand up for developing countries.
Protests have been organized in cities around the world on Saturday, as part of a coordinated effort to counter what climate activists see as the dangerously regressive policies of the Trump administration.
US protesters are set to take part in marches and other events across the country.
In Bangkok, dozens of laborers and fisherman from the Gulf of Thailand whose livelihoods are threatened by rising sea levels joined demonstrators outside the UN.
The protests were planned to alert world leaders to accelerate efforts to tackle climate change.
While many observers assumed that the US would take a back seat in climate talks under the Trump administration, pressure groups said America was instead undermining the Paris process.
“In leading the charge to block practically every discussion on finance for the Paris guidelines, the US administration is threatening the future of the agreement and multilateralism itself,” said Jesse Bragg, from the watchdog Corporate Accountability.
Experts warn that the world is running out of time to prevent catastrophic temperature rises.
The Paris agreement aimed to limit global temperature rises to “well below” two degrees Celsius by 2100.