Varied Responses to COP 20 Lima Climate Agreement and Possible Next Steps

Varied Responses to COP 20 Lima Climate Agreement and Possible Next Steps

Magdalena A K Muir, Climate Editor, ENews

This is a survey of different responses to the COP 20 deal provide a sampling of mixed response from slightly hopeful, slightly discouraged to dismissive.

For example, the European Union welcomes the outcome of the United Nations climate conference in Lima as a step forward on the road to a global climate deal in Paris next year. It noted that the conference agreed on two deliverables, the Lima Call for Climate Action and the draft elements text for the 2015 Agreement.

In contrast, WWF was quite concerned about the outcome stating: Governments crucially failed to agree on specific plans to cut emissions before 2020 that would have laid the groundwork for ending the fossil fuel era and accelerated the move toward renewable energy and increased energy efficiency.

At COP 20 in Lima, Peru, nations concluded by elaborating the elements of the new agreement, scheduled to be agreed in Paris in late 2015, and also also agreeing the ground rules on how all countries can submit contributions to the new agreement during the first quarter of next year. These Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) will form the foundation for climate action post 2020 when the new agreement is set to come into effect.

Previously parties have argued that efforts to set binding hard targets when dealing with greenhouse gases — which remain deeply linked to economic activity may have been counterproductive and delayed progress, see the Hartwell Paper.

The greatest possible gap of the Lima Climate Agreement may be its failure to agree on monitoring, reporting and verification (or MRV) of commitments to be made in Paris. The only MRV measure included was a provision providing for reporting of total commitments. Hopefully this can be strengthened in the final Paris accords.

Perhaps the future Paris climate agreement(s) can result in multiple smaller trading regions and bi-lateral and multi-lateral agreements will cumulative will address climate mitigation and adaptation.

This means that need to also focus on post-Paris period and the structures and systems that will be needed, including bilateral and multi-lateral agreements, financing and technologies, and which also addressing the different levels of climate impacts and capacities to respond to climate imapcts between and within countries.

One complementary approach could be a focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), and targets, indicators and metrics that required here could also address or alleviate monitoring, reporting and verification gaps in any future climate agreement.

These UN SDGs also facilitate intergrated sectoral approaches for sustainable agriculture, cities, energy, forestry and water.

Other international processes are also relevant. For example, although the UN Sustainable Energy For All (SE4ALL) initiative is not directly engaged in climate negotiations  and is not dedicated solely to combating climate change, its activities on energy efficiency and renewable energy directly support the goals of the Lima Climate Agreement

Further information:

The European Union welcomes the outcome of the United Nations climate conference in Lima as a step forward on the road to a global climate deal in Paris next year
http://ec.europa.eu/clima/news/articles/news_2014121501_en.htm

WWF Statement  from Samantha Smith, Leader of WWF’s Global Climate and Energy Initiative at the close of the UN climate talks in Lima, Peru
http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/footprint/climate_carbon_energy/cop20/?235452/unclimatetalksfailtodeliverprogressdespitehottestyearonrecord

COP 20 Reporting of Outcomes
http://newsroom.unfccc.int/lima/lima-call-for-climate-action-puts-world-on-track-to-paris-2015/

Hartwell Paper
http://www.lse.ac.uk/newsAndMedia/news/archives/2010/05/HartwellPaper.aspx

UN SDGs
http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgsproposal

UN Sustainable Energy for All Initiative and COP 20
http://www.se4all.org/2014/12/09/se4all-cop-20/

In Climate Talks, Soft is the New Hard – and That’s a Good Thing By Andrew Revkin
http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/12/15/in-climate-talks-soft-is-the-new-hard-and-thats-a-good-thing/

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