img1 img2
logo
img3 img4
 

Jean Letitia Saldanha (CIDSE), participated in the a side-event by the Permanent Mission of Brazil to the UN, CIDSE and Social Watch on Thursday, January 29, 2015 in the UN Conference Building, New York. Dealing with responsibilities in a financing sustainable development context, this event generated discussion on conceptual challenges such as an evenhanded approach to the three pillars of sustainable development, adapting a framework like the Financing for Development process to the universal agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals without denaturalizing and decontextualizing it and how to incorporate important principles agreed at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development.

 

 

Jean Letitia Saldanha said that the reason why this conversation is a pertinent one today is the recognition of the interlinkages between the various agendas that are being negotiated in parallel this year: finance, Post-2015 and climate. Morever, the UN General Assembly resolution on the organisation of the Third Financing for Development Conference emphasised that the Monterrey Consensus and Doha declaration provide the conceptual framework, including in the context of the Post-2015 development agenda for the mobilisation of resources for the achievement of sustainable development, and the need to ensure coherence, coordination and avoid duplication of efforts.

 

She also remarked that starting from the need to ensure coherence and consistency between the FfD agenda and Post-2015 and that FfD would provide the conceptual framework for resource mobilisation for a Universal agenda, the need to recognise differentiated responsibility in this agenda is imperative, feasible and can potentially play a role in contributing to a positive outcome. Applying CBDR has the potential to overcome many deadlocks while ensuring equity. There are existing models, particular the Green House Rights model that can be built upon . However the challenge will be to elaborate the CBDR principle in FfD3 when the focus is on a limited set of “deliverables”.

 

Read below her intervention.

 

CIDSE welcomes this discussion. It is the starting point of our inquiry into the applicability of the principle of Common But Differentiated responsibility to the Financing for Development Agenda.

 

The reason why we feel that this conversation is a pertinent one today is the recognition of the interlinkages between the various agendas that are being negotiated in parallel this year: finance, Post-2015 and climate. Morever, the UN General Assembly resolution on the organisation of the Third Financing for Development Conference emphasised that the Monterrey Consensus and Doha declaration provide the conceptual framework, including in the context of the Post-2015 development agenda for the mobilisation of resources for the achievement of sustainable development, and the need to ensure coherence, coordination and avoid duplication of efforts.

 

With regard to Post-2015/SDG discussions, universality and differentiated responsibility in this discussion is shaped by Para 247 of the Rio+20 outcome document in which universal applicability was balanced by a commitment to take into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development and respecting national policies and priorities

 

This conceptualisation of differentiated responsibility is most easily associated with the Rio principle of CBDR. In this context, the principles was mainly elaborated in climate discussions. The drawback of this is that the principle has not been adequately elaborated to coherently address the entire Sustainable Development agenda in its totality which would encompass all three of its dimensions, the economic, social and environmental.

 

Going ahead, it is essential that the conceptual framework of FfD agenda apply to sustainable development in it totality. This builds on the notion of global solidarity which could be found in Para 6 of the Millennium Declaration which states that “global challenges must be managed in a way that distributes the costs and burdens fairly in accordance with basic principles of equity and social justice. Those who suffer most or who benefit least deserve help from those who benefit most.

 

This notion can also be interpreted from the obligations within International Human Rights law to progressively realise all human rights which are universal and indivisible.

 

A second point that is important to make with regard to CBDR discussions is the need to remove CBDR from the shroud of suspicion and discuss it openly for its merits and how it could contribute positively to the outcomes of the FfD discussion, and leading from this, positive outcomes of Post-2015 and climate discussions:

 

1. Coherence: It could make explicit how FfD agenda provides the conceptual framework for a universal agenda while respecting the commitment to take into account national realities, capacities and levels of development

 

2. Alongside the issue of historical responsibility, there is another dimension of equity that CBDR can address. While costs of inaction have been largely socialised, action to realise sustainable development across the board- from fulfilling basic human rights obligations, including the right to development to energy efficiency and promoting sustainable consumption and production etc. which require extensive financial resources, will particularly benefit those who can afford and have the available financial infrastructure at hand to make these massive investments. This risks leaving a huge equity gap between those who can do so and these who cannot. This equity gap must be addressed by the FfD agenda.

 

3. We believe that applying CBDR to FfD agenda would help to move discussions beyond traditional blockades, to establish responsibility in a fair and transparent manner.

 

The next question would then be: how could this be done: how could CBDR be applied to the FfD discussion? Here we have a lot of work done in the climate field that we can build upon.

 

Various models have been put forward:

 

1. Common but Differentiated Convergence Model which was a modification of the original concept of contraction and convergence created by the Global Commons Institute in the 1990s (global emissions reductions converging at a common level of maximal allowance by 2050).

 

2. The German Advisory Council on Global Change presented the Global Budget Approach ahead of the 2009 Climate Conference in Copenhagen. (Key component is an agreement on a cap, in the form of a global budget, of CO2 emissions from fossil-fuel sources up to 2050 with two policy scenarios: Historic Responsibility based on equal per capita distribution of global cumulative CO2 budgets from 1990 to 2050. Second scenario: Future Responsibility on the basis of equal per capita distribution of CO2 budgets upon entry into force of the new global climate convention. Criticised for not factoring in differentiated responsibility.

 

3. The third most recent approach is the Oxford Capability Measure (OCM). Focuses on the individual capacity of a country to carry climate change related burdens. It is based on a calculation of the individual economic capability expressed as per capita GNI minus the Poverty related capability allowance- a “poverty discount.” Poorer countries such as LDCs may even arrive at a negative OCM implying they will need all resources at hand for poverty eradication leaving little resources over for mitigation and adaptation measures.

 

4. The Greenhouse Development Rights (GDR) model is the most far reaching proposal to implement CDBR in the climate regime, first developed in 2004 and recently reworked. It puts forward a climate agreement that establishes indicators for a fair burden sharing of climate protection measures at global level. Indicators include the historic responsibility of countries expressed as the cumulative per capita emissions since 1990, economic and financial capabilities to deal with climate change and the potential in reducing CO2 emissions. Countries are grouped in the traditional Annex II and Annex I categories. Non Annex I countries are subdivided into four groups (NIC: newly industrialised countries, RIDCs- rapidly industrialising developing countires, ODCs- other developing countries, LDCs- Least Developed Countries) representing differentiated climate responsibilities. This model does away with the traditional dichotomy of developed and developing countries and suggests a more graduated approach according to social and economic realities. It allows for flexibility in weighting the different factors. A GDR calculator allows to shift historic timeline and acceptable global warming targets. Taking into account development concerns of poorer countries the concept establishes a development threshold based on the right to development as a minimum existence level while also taking into account inequalities and need for differentiation between countries.

 

In conclusion, I would reiterate that starting from the need to ensure coherence and consistency between the FfD agenda and Post-2015 and that FfD would provide the conceptual framework for resource mobilisation for a Universal agenda, the need to recognise differentiated responsibility in this agenda is imperative, feasible and can potentially play a role in contributing to a positive outcome. Applying CBDR has the potential to overcome many deadlocks while ensuring equity. There are existing models, particular the Green House Rights model that can be built upon . However the challenge will be to elaborate the CBDR principle in FfD3 when the focus is on a limited set of “deliverables”.

 

By Jean Letitia Saldanha, CIDSE.

 

Focus on
Search
Interesting links
Follow me
facebook twitter rss