COP-20 results 'underwhelming'

16 December 2014

Despite two weeks of solid negotiations and a 25-hour extension at the end, the agreements reached at the COP-20 climate change summit proved decidedly underwhelming. One of the main stumbling blocks in the marathon negotiations was who should bear the cost of meeting of objectives for reducing greenhouse gases.

The final agreement – at least there was one – announced in the early hours of 14 December substituted permissive language in lieu of binding commitments. For instance, developed economies were “urged” and “invited” to set aside adequate financial resources to pay for mitigation and adaptation by developing ones. NGOs concerned with climate change issues were swift to point out that this sort of language will simply make it much harder to prepare for the next all-important round of international negotiations in Paris next year.

As far as Peru is concerned, the COP-20 has been a wake-up call concerning the dangers confronting the country as climate change makes itself increasingly felt in the real world. Hundreds of events were held in Lima to highlight these concerns, particularly with reference to impacts on the poorest and most vulnerable. Among these, of course, are Peru’s indigenous peoples whose habitat is increasingly at risk, even without global warming. An impressive 10,000-strong ‘march of the peoples’ made itself heard as it filed through the centre of Lima from the Campo de Marte to the Plaza San Martín.


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