A new agreement on Climate Change, scheduled to be adopted in Paris in late 2015, took a further step forward at the 20th Conference of Parties in Lima. Differences over the draft text caused the two-week talks in Lima, Peru, to overrun by two days. After the two-week negotiations, over 190 countries agreed some of the ground rules of the global climate deal that shall be reached next year in Paris.  Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, the Minister of Environment of Peru and the COP President stated “Meanwhile here in Lima, governments have left with a far clearer vision of what the draft Paris agreement will look like as we head into 2015 and the next round of negotiations in Geneva”. Thanks to its participation in the COP20, EQO members were following such negotiations in situ.

The main Lima Climate Conference outcomes and decisions are summarised below:

  • Cutting greenhouse gas emissions: all countries will be asked to submit plans for curbing greenhouse gas emissions, known as “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” (INDCs) that will form the foundation for climate action post 2020 when the new agreement is set to come into effect. An informal deadline of 31 March 2015 has been set and there will be few obligations to provide details and no review to compare each nation’s pledges.
  • Financing the response to climate change: donation to a Green Climate Fund, fractionally surpassed a UN goal of $10 billion. In addition, a goal for developed nations to mobilise $100 billion a year, was reiterated in Lima, in climate aid for developing nations by 2020.
  • Providing transparency: levels of transparency and confidence-building reached new heights as several industrialized countries submitted themselves to questioning about their emissions targets under a new process called a Multilateral Assessment.
  • Education and Awareness-raising: the Lima Ministerial Declaration on Education and Awareness-raising calls on governments to put climate change into school curricula and climate awareness into national development plans.
  • Steps Forward on adaptation: recognition that National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) offer an important way of delivering resilience.
  • Forest and REDD+ Programmes: countries meeting in Lima made progress on providing support to avoid deforestation.
  • Providing technology to developing countries: the Lima meeting sent an important signal that the transfer of climate technologies with the assistance of the UN and other international agencies.
  • Loss and Damage: developing countries vulnerable to extreme weather finally got the attention they were claiming by wining a mention of “loss and damage” – for instance, compensation for super typhoons – in the text, although the United States had pushed not to include it.
  • Lima Work Programme on Gender: the role of women as key element to respond to climate change, and the need to be strengthened.

The talks agreed on a 37-page document of “elements” that will form the basis of a negotiating text for Paris next year. But the range of options is very wide.

One option, for instance, is to set a long-term goal of a cut in greenhouse gas emissions to “net zero by 2050,” requiring a drastic shift from fossil fuels in coming years. Another long-term option for the same section would merely require “low-emission development strategies.”