Lima climate talks paves way to promising future

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A draft document hammered out at a climate conference in Peru's capital Lima has "paved the way" to an eventual global climate deal, a Peruvian official said Monday.

Peru's Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, who presided over the event, said the COP20, or the 20th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held here on Dec. 1-14, laid the groundwork for a concrete agreement at next year's COP21 in Paris.

The climate gathering "paves the way to Paris with Peru fulfilling its pledge on negotiation and organization," the minister posted on Twitter.

"Lima leaves a promising future for an agreement to be signed in Paris," Pulgar-Vidal reiterated following the conclusion of the event early Sunday, more than a day later than scheduled.

Not everyone was so sanguine about the outcome. Alden Meyer, who monitored the event on behalf of the Union of Concerned Scientists, titled his report on the end of the conference "Limping Home from Lima."

The UN climate talks, he wrote Sunday, concluded "with decisions that represent the bare minimum needed to move the process to Paris."

He cited climate finance as one of the major stumbling blocks to a comprehensive accord to be reached next year, but conceded "negotiators in Lima constructed a detailed menu of possible elements of the Paris agreement, intended to form the starting point when negotiations resume."

Countries are now expected to propose "their best emissions reduction offers early next year," said Meyers.

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