The 20th Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) started yesterday in Lima, Peru, and negotiations are meant to run until the 12th December 2014.
Parties are asked to take important steps forward in light of next year’s COP21 in Paris, where a new binding and legally agreement will have to be signed if we are meant to stay below a 2°C increase in global temperatures. In particular, COP20 needs to deliver on climate finance, especially on increasing pre-2020 ambition and designing a global roadmap. Additionally, the Lima COP will have to shed light on the scope and content of the 2015 agreement, with decisions on how the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) should look, and elements on long term global goals of phasing out fossil fuel emissions and phase-in of 100% renewable energy.
While all eyes have already started to turn towards Paris next year, COP20 remains important as it takes place in one of the regions of the world most affected by climate change: Huascarán National Park is the site of many glaciers and since the 1970s about 30% of the glacier coverage in this park has melted. It is predicted that in 2030 all glaciers in this region below 5,000 meters will have gone completely. Peru is also a country heavily impacted by the destructive power of corporate mining companies: 40% of extractive activities in Peru are based in areas where indigenous communities live and every 3 minutes, 1 hectare of primary forest disappears. The Peruvian Presidency therefore needs to make sure that all the positive signals that it was given in the last months, from the country pledges at the UN Climate Summit to the window of opportunities presented by science in the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the recent capital injections in the Green Climate Fund, will be reflected in a strong draft text of the new climate deal that paves the way towards a sustainable development for all.
We hope that all who made their way to Lima have come with strong commitments. Yesterday the Peruvian Minister of Environment, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, who is also acting as President of the COP20, said: “This year’s Climate Conference needs to be a space for dialogue, innovative ideas and commitment to action”.
Meanwhile, CIDSE will continue to be part of the Fast for the Climate community, who on December 1 once again acted as a reminder that civil society will not step back and will keep up the pressure on countries to reach just and adequate decisions.
Back to our COP20 overview page.