The major UN climate talks of the year (COP20) get underway in Lima next week, offering up an opportunity to ramp up climate action while kicking off an intense 12 months of the global climate negotiations. In just a year’s time, governments from around the world are expected to sign off a new global climate agreement, which will see all countries, big and small, accept emissions targets.
In the last few months alone we’ve seen mass mobilisations around the world, the UN Secretary General’s climate summit, a stark report from the world’s climate scientists, and demands for action from a diverse community of voices including business and religious groups – all driving climate change back to the top of the political agenda. Governments can no longer afford to ignore the calls to scale up their transition from dirty fossil fuels to renewable energy. With China, the US and the EU all unveiling climate action plans in recent weeks, and nearly US $9.6 billion raised in climate finance pledges, a strong sense of political momentum accompanies the next fortnight of talks. But much work is still to be done.
Governments have a heavy list of Lima deliverables if they want to build a foundation strong enough to support a new climate agreement in Paris at the end of next year. At the heart of that new agreement, and expected to be at the top of the two week agenda, is countries’ individual climate action commitments – known as their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, or INDCs. For the first time, every country will put specific climate action commitments forward; and in doing so, send the world’s first collective signal of the end of the fossil fuel age. Countries are due to submit their INDCs in the first quarter of next year, so Lima has to deliver clarity on what these commitments should contain, how long they should last, how they should be presented, and how to ensure the commitments are the strongest a country has to offer.
The US, China and the EU have led the way. And while these pledges send a strong political signal that the world’s largest emitters are serious about climate change, they also show us that much more ambition is necessary to keep global warming below the internationally agreed threshold of 2C of warming. With the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – the world’s leading climate science body – making it clear that fossil fuels must be phased down to zero, the current pledges must be seen as the floor and not the ceiling of action; and all countries must come forward with effective plans that show the that the world is committed to stick to a carbon budget, and that rich countries are ready to support poorer countries financially and technologically to act.
In addition to INDCs and the wider scope of ongoing work toward a 2015 deal, scaling up climate action in the near-term will be a major focus in Lima. More countries will need to ratify an agreed extension of the Kyoto Protocol before it can take effect; governments will make a decision on a new round of workshops to help them understand and adopt best-practice policies for near-term emissions cuts; and work is also expected on a “Lima Action Agenda” to maintain and accelerate cooperation on climate issues by all actors, building on climate action pledges made at the UN Climate Summit in New York earlier this year.
With this momentum in the rear-view mirror and Paris now just a year away, the stakes and expectations for COP20 in Lima are high.
Resources & Tools
Track the talks on TckTckTck’s daily liveblog
For the full duration of the talks, we’re liveblogging on the TckTckTck website. Check out our embeddable Storify-powered feed for up-to-the-hour news on negotiation progress, NGO efforts and the COP19 experience. SEE IT HERE >>
We will help drive the conversation on Twitter by pulling together to trending tweets, hashtags and memes for our partners to use in regular social media blasts throughout the talks. SIGN UP HERE >>
The Adopt a Negotiator Project
A global team of ‘Negotiator Trackers’ is busy following the roles of specific countries and sharing the play-by-play in blogs, video analysis and tweets. GET THE DETAILS HERE >>
From our partners
Climate Action International published their curtain raiser briefing paper on what needs to happen during the two weeks of negotiations.
E3G runs down what we should expect from the Lima climate negotiations.
Many of our partners will open the conference with their biggest one day fast to date. The#FastFortheClimate began at last year’s climate conference, led by Philippines negotiator Yeb Sano in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan. Since then each month on the first of the month, civil society members around the world take place in a symbolic fast for climate action. You can support the fasters by spreading the word on social media and signing up to the group’sThunderClap.
The Canadian Youth Delegation wrote an open letter to their government calling on it to a climate leader at next week’s climate talks.
Christian Aid pulled together a briefing on the Lima Climate Talks and the road to Paris. They also took a closer look at the positive role for low-carbon development in Latin America and the Caribbean.
In the news
Guardian: Senior EU officials are stressing the bloc’s position that the new UN climate agreement must include legally binding targets.
Reuters: Governments heading to Lima are faced with another stark warning today as new data from the US and UK shows 2014 is on track to be the hottest year on record.
RTCC: Analysis on the role the US-China pact could have on shifting the dynamics of the UN Climate Talks.
Tools and resources
The GCCA’s Tree team pulled together a ‘COP20 Briefer: All eyes on Lima as critical period for negotiations begins,’ a list of events taking place in and around the conference, and a briefing discussion with the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Alden Meyer and CAN’s Ria Voorhaar on what to expect from the COP.
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About the AuthorTckTckTck is the online hub for the Global Call for Climate Action. The GCCA represents an unprecedented alliance of more than 400 nonprofit organizations from around the world. Our shared mission is to mobilize civil society and galvanize public support to ensure a safe climate future for people and nature, to promote the low-carbon transition of our economies, and to accelerate the adaptation efforts in communities already affected by climate change.
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