COP20 in Lima, Peru – A summary

Delegations of 196 nations met from 1st to 12th December in Lima to work on the new global agreement on climate action.

The discussions had two major results:

  • An outline of the text to be adopted in 2015 in Paris with various options to be discussed at COP21.
  • A list of key elements which countries’ contributions should include: time frame, base year, geographic and sectorial coverage of the emission reductions, quantification of reduction target, methodologies used etc. These will be the parts of the countries’ “intended nationally determined contributions” (INDC).

The major criticism the result received was that the document contains guidance only and not requirements. The text won’t be legally binding. (The wording has been weakened from “shall” to “may”.)

What has changed from earlier COPs is the removal of the old distinction between developed (or Annex I) and developing (non-Annex I) countries.

Another achievement of the conference was that the Green Climate Fund has collected over 10 billion dollars to help poor countries mitigate the effects of climate change.

The next steps are:

  • 31st March 2015: Deadline for submitting INDCs
  • 1st November 2015: The UN will report on the aggregate effect of INDCs to see if they are enough to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius
  • 30th November – 11th December 2015: COP21 in Paris


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