Lima Call for Climate Action: the survival instinct

CliMates’ views on the COP20 results

 

Delegates from the 195 Nations Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have agreed, at the 20th Conference of the Parties (COP20) in Lima last December, to a text framed as a key stepping stone towards building a new climate regime to be signed in Paris in 2015 and to come into force in 2020. The deal hope to see all nations come forward with self-determined plans for emissions-cutting contributions and reiterates support for poor countries in preparing these.

The final text, so called the Lima Call for Climate Action, confirms parties’ intention to develop and adopt a global climate deal by next December’s climate meet in Paris, France. The new agreement will apply to all parties and try to address in a balanced manner mitigation, adaptation, climate finance, technology transfer, capacity-building, and transparency of action and support.

 

Last hours on the edge of a cliff

As hard as it was during the last days, consensus was reached after the COP20, laboured into extra time, approximately 30 hours beyond the initial scheduled closing session. Elliott Diringer, Executive Vice President of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES),  believes that this extension is because “even a seemingly trivial procedural issue can be freighted with substantive implications, so countries fret over every nuance, lest they let something slip that will come back to haunt them later. In Lima, like so many times before, their biggest worry was how responsibility will be distributed across developed and developing countries.”

Fears were expressed that Lima could end the same way as the 2009 Copenhagen meet, where backroom deals announced at the plenary at the last minute helped derail the talks. Besides this almost-usual end of COP nervousness, the ADP co-chairs were also criticised at various intervals last week for allegedly failing to listen to developing countries’ views and for not building these into two new iterations of the draft decisions issued on Thursday evening and Saturday dawn respectively.

 

A truncated agenda for Paris, but key issues are preserved

The final ADP decision requires that INDCs be posted on the UNFCCC website and that the Secretariat prepare a technical paper by early November 2015 on their aggregate nature. This section cuts text from previous drafts that would have seen an ex-ante or review process framed around a dialogue on the contributions – an apparent concession to the Like-Minded Developing Countries group in order to reach the agreement on the text.
Observers mostly showed disappointment concerning the COP20 results, but many organizations also believes that the textual disagreements demonstrated the extent to which parties were starting to grapple with the dynamics of a new universal climate regime.

Despite a holy terror, a negotiation process still alive

The final decision acknowledges progress made in Lima towards elaborating elements of a draft negotiating text for the 2015 deal, which now sits in an annex. This move helps formalise a 37-page non-paper on Paris deal options issued by the ADP co-chairs on Wednesday based on views previously expressed by the parties.

Concerning the Lima Call for Climate Action, agreement was reached on the type of information parties may include when communicating their intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) – the building blocks of the eventual Paris deal. The final text also adds language recalling past decisions on the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage, the compensation instrument held dear by countries particularly vulnerable to climate change.

“Even if it seems the world is on opposite sides, there is just one planet,” said Pulgar-Vidal in welcoming the ADP decision. In this regard, we can precisely estimate the expected new regime will be signed in Paris, because if the negotiation process were to fail it would have already failed, and eventually the COP20 results still give positive signals.

 

However, the Lima Call for Climate Action eventually remains a minimalist text as a lot of options are still on the table, and the road to a solid agreement in Paris narrows. Therefore, the next negotiating sessions should therefore crucial to decide on the various options.

 

Next stage: an ADP session is scheduled for 8-13 February in Geneva, Switzerland. Algeria’s Ahmed Djoghlaf and the US’ Daniel Reifsnyder will become the new ADP co-chairs. They will have to focus on steering the group’s discussions through the conclusion made by the Call for Climate Action.




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Three members received accreditations to represent CliMates:

  • Miriam Somocurcio (two weeks of COP): Head of COPinMyCity Latin America;
  • Leslie Tourneville (first week): member of CliMates’ Central Organization, member of the COY11 organization team;
  • Delphine Blumereau (second week): member of the Global Climate Politics program.


Four other CliMates members come under other accreditations:
  • Aurore Bimont: President of CliMates – COP21 project manager at Seine-Saint-Denis local government ;
  • Antoine Ebel: former President of Climates – member of the French COP Delegation;
  • Sabrina Marquant: Head of CliMates’ Negotiations Tracking project – member of the COY11 organization team – YOUNGO 2014 Global North Focal Point – Director of Helio International;
  • Melissa Low, member of CliMates’ Negotiations Tracking team – Research Associate at National University of Singapore.

The first week was extremely busy for members of YOUNGO! Here are the main inputs from the members of CliMates.

  • Sabrina Marquant organized a side-event on Youth Climate Action, a platform dedicated to reference climate youth movements all around the world. As a YOUNGO Focal Point, she also helps to organize all the YOUNGO Statements and events during the two-week COP.
  • Leslie Tourneville presented the objectives of COY11 during Youth and Future Generations Day. She recruited more than twenty YOUNGO members interested in organizing/participating to COY11.
  • Miriam Somocurcio followed discussions of the ADP. She gave the latest report of COPinMyCity to Executive Secretary Christina Figueres, as well as the COPinMyCity Changemaker Toolkit to the President of SBSTA.
  • Leslie Tourneville and Miriam Somocurcio wrote the YOUNGO Statement for the closing SBI plenary session.





With only two members of CliMates to follow the negotiations and act in YOUNGO, you can imagine that exhaustive coverage of the negotiations was difficult! 😉

Here are some highlights on the main challenges of this discussion so far.

Concerning the Draft Negotiating Text of the Agreement: Disagreements about the draft (cf. latest on date) were expressed by the coalition of African countries on the fact that adaptation and funding was not emphasized enough in the draft document of the Agreement. They suggested a proposal after the US contested the need for adequacy and predictability in flows of funds.

Concerning the INDCs (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions): Discussions on the national pledges on emission reductions were stuck on procedures during the first days. The negotiated text was eventually showed on screens. A first full-reading was achieved on Saturday afternoon. Several observers expressed fears that the total emission reduction contributions were still not on track of 2°C by 2100.
Executive Secretary Christina Figueres said that the Agreement in Paris would not be a silver-bullet solution in this regard.

Concerning the Green Climate Fund: After Canada and Spain, Norway announced a $ US 258 million pledge to the Green Climate Fund inLima, boosting it to $ US 9,95 millions. Executive Director Héla Cheikhrouhou announced that funding would be made available to countries in 2016.

Concerning Technology Transfers: Parties agreed that the evaluation of the developing countries’ needs could be improved, and asked the Chairs of the session for a more complete work to turn these need evaluations into concrete programs.

Concerning Loss and Damage: Negotiations on the Work Programme of the Warsaw Convention establishing the notion of Loss and Damage in the negotiations were close to coming to a successful conclusion at the end of the week, after several meetings closed to observers. Discussions between Parties remain vivid on the special mention of

Delphine Blumereau and Leslie Tourneville from CliMates, as well as Clic! members, were at Peoples Climate March in Peru!

Thousands of marchers get into the streets in Lima fir the biggest climate march Latin America has ever seen, on the 10th of December 2014 during Human Rights Day.

The March, organised by El Cumbre de los Pueblos frente al Cambio Climatico, gathered students, women associations, environmental activists, trade unionists, miners representatives and indigenous people, not only pressing for actions to tackle climate change, but demanding protection for harassed social activists.

Many Marchers waved portraits of leaders killed for defending human rights.