CBS/AP, December 14
Lima, Peru – After late-night wrangling at U.N. talks in Peru, negotiators early Sunday reached a compromise deal that sets the stage for a global climate pact in Paris next year.
The main goal for the two-week session in Lima was relatively modest: Reach agreement on what information should go into the pledges that countries submit for a global climate pact expected to be adopted in Paris. But even that became complicated as several developing nations rebelled against a draft decision they said blurred the distinction between what rich and poor countries can be expected to do.
The Lima agreement was adopted hours after a previous draft was rejected by developing countries who accused rich nations of shirking their responsibilities to fight global warming and pay for its impacts.
Peru’s environment minister presented a new, fourth draft just before midnight and said he hoped it would satisfy all parties, giving a sharply reduced body of remaining delegates an hour to review it.
“As a text it’s not perfect, but it includes the positions of the parties,” said the minister, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, who was the conference chairman and had spent all afternoon and evening meeting separately with delegations.
However, it weakened language on the content of the pledges, saying they “may” instead of “shall” include quantifiable information showing how countries intend to meet their emissions targets. Also, top carbon polluter China and other major developing countries opposed plans for a review process that would allow the pledges to be compared against one another before Paris.
“I think it’s definitely watered down from what we expected,” said Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Sam Smith, chief of climate policy for the environmental group WWF, said: “The text went from weak to weaker to weakest and it’s very weak indeed.”
Climate talks draw criticism from green activists
ITV News, December 14
The agreement UN members have reached on climate change at talks in Peru has been dismissed as a step backwards by environmentalists.
Late-night wrangling between United Nations members in Lima secured agreement between developing and rich nations on a framework for making firm pledges to cut pollution at a summit in Paris next year.
But Friends of the Earth’s international climate campaigner Asad Rehman said:
The only thing these talks have achieved is to reduce the chances of a fair and effective agreement to tackle climate change in Paris next year.
Once again poorer nations have been bullied by the industrialised world into accepting an outcome which leaves many of their citizens facing the grim prospect of catastrophic climate change.
We have the ingenuity and resources to build the low carbon future we so urgently need – but we still lack the political will.
The Guardian: Lima climate change talks reach global warming agreement
The biggest issue left unresolved for Paris is the burden for cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The draft text retains language of “common but differentiated responsibilities” that has over the years given developing countries a pass on cutting emissions. That language remains in the text although with a rider “in light of different national circumstances”. Stern acknowledged to reporters the issue was likely to come up again at Paris.
And the text adopted on Sunday no longer makes it mandatory for countries to provide detailed information about their prospect reductions targets.
Campaigners said that would make it increasingly difficult to be sure the deal would manage to keep warming within the 2 degree threshold.