UN climate talks get underway in Lima



As governments meet in Lima, Peru, to discuss an international climate change agreement, the UN is confident that the talks will be a success and pave the way for the climate conference to be held in Paris late next year, where a new universal UN-backed treaty on climate change will be adopted.

Starting on December 1 and running through to December 12, the 20th session of the Conference of Parties (COP) aims to hammer out a new universal treaty that will come into force in 2020. It is hoped that by laying the foundations for such an agreement now, a final treaty can be agreed upon next year. The UN is optimistic that the talks will be a success.

Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said, “Never before have the risks of climate change been so obvious and the impacts so visible. Never before have we seen such a desire at all levels of society to take climate action. Never before has society had all the smart policy and technology resources to curb greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience.”

She added, “All of this means we can be confident we will have a productive meeting in Lima, which will lead to an effective outcome in Paris next year.”

This year the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned against rising sea levels, storms and droughts as a result of rising greenhouse gas emissions, and highlighted the opportunities to tackle climate change.

Over the next two weeks in Lima, countries will put forward what they plan to contribute to the 2015 agreement. The EU, along with the US and China, has already publically announced their targets for post-2020. By 2030 the European bloc aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40%.

Figueres commented, “It is hugely encouraging that well ahead of next year’s first quarter deadline, countries have already been outlining what they intend to contribute to the Paris agreement. This is also a clear sign that countries are determined to find common ground and maximise the potential of international cooperation.”

The Lima talks are expected to yield further progress in a number of areas, including providing transparency of developed country action, governments working to scale up and coordinate the delivery of climate finance and clarifying the role of carbon markets in the 2015 agreement.

Photo: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources 

Further reading:

COP19: international climate talks begin in Warsaw, Poland

COP19: campaign groups prepare mass walkout from Warsaw climate talks

EU must reconsider climate targets if UN talks fail, says energy commissioner

UN climate summit: wealthy nations urged to donate to Green Climate Fund

UN Climate Summit: Nelson Mandela’s widow says leaders should step up the ambition


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