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07/16/2015

Negotiations at the Lima Climate Change Conference (COP20)

Negotiations at COP20. Drafting a final declaration before the deadline on Saturday, 13 December, is a slow, complex, and intense process.

Negotiations at COP20 in Peru continue. Drafting a final declaration before the deadline on Saturday, 13 December, is a slow, complex, and intense process.

Below we summarise some of the main issues discussed:

Negotiations at the COP20 Lima

Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP). The draft, which aims to reduce emissions, was discussed, as was the level of commitment and format of the agreement. Possible formats include a treaty, an annex and a commitment. This treaty must be agreed before being signed in Paris in December 2015.

Lack of agreement on monitoring and standardisation. A method to monitor, review and verify funding flows must be established. The objective is to ensure that contributions committed for development are not diverted towards the new aid needed to fight climate change.

National measures to combat climate change, and reporting. These measures are included in the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC). Problems mainly revolve around transparency and the responsibility of each country. Countries are encouraged to report their specific measures in the first quarter of 2015 so that they are comparable, transparent, measurable and can be reviewed.

Common but differenciated responsabilities (CBDR). This is one of the most complex aspects of the negotiations. The idea is that each country would take on different reduction and adaptation commitments depending on its level of development. Discrepancies arise because developing countries focus the debate on funding, while developed countries don't want to lose sight of the main issue, as they are not committed to providing annual contributions (Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Canada explicitly opposed this).

Global Climate Fund (GCF). 10 billion dollars were raised in 2014 (Spain contributed 149 million dollars). Indonesia promoted an interesting approach whereby developing countries contribute to this fund as a function of their resources (South-South Contribution).

Other notable aspects during the COP20 Lima negotiations:

Pacific Alliance declaration on Climate Change. This was presented by Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. Political leaders in attendance included Michelle Bachelet and her Peruvian counterpart, Ollanta Humala. They emphasised that this phenomenon is one of the largest global challenges and requires urgent action around the world.

Fifteen thousand people demonstrated on the streets of Lima, calling for global use of renewable energies and a reduction in the deforestation of the Amazon; the demonstration was inspired by the People's Climate March, which took place during the UN Climate Summit in New York in September.

Edward Davey, UK Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change and the first high-ranking politician to participate in the debate about the future of carbon companies, called for tougher rules for companies with "risky" fossil fuel assets, the value of which may plummet as a result of global initiatives to fight climate change.

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