Could the Lima conference be a turning point?

By Huan Qingzhi
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, December 9, 2014
Adjust font size:

Participants attend a press conference releasing the first United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Adaptation Gap Report in Lima, capital of Peru, Dec. 5, 2014. The first UNEP Adaptation Gap Report serves as a preliminary assessment of global adaptation gaps in finance, technology and knowledge, and lays out a framework for future work on better defining and bridging these gaps. [Xinhua/Xu Zijian]

Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change are convening in Lima, Peru for a 12-day conference, to prepare for the next year's United Nations Climate Change Conference, which will be held in Paris, France, during which a new multilateral deal is expected to be agreed upon, before it will take effect in 2020.

The Lima conference will determine whether the next year's Paris conference will achieve its anticipated result. Although the Lima conference seems to be taking place in a better political environment than the Copenhagen conference held five years ago, China is facing unprecedented challenges and pressure, which far outweigh those in 2009.

New international climate change talks

The failure of the Copenhagen climate talks put political pressure on the leaders of major countries. For example, the U.S. President Barack Obama obviously wished to leave a positive legacy on global climate change for himself and the Democratic Party.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned in its fifth report about human society's influence on global climate change, and the possibly huge ecological risks if such an influence continues.

Major countries, especially China and the United States, are acting to seek a more positive post-Kyoto Protocol deal. China is experiencing growing public concern on ecological issues and more positive government responses, while the United States openly supported a package of deals in what may be the future Paris Protocol.

For the above three reasons, we have reason to believe the Paris conference to be held in 2015 will form a new international deal, similar to the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, to combat global climate. Such optimism is out of the calculation that a single major country or major stakeholder alone could not afford to take the huge political responsibilities like those in the wake of the Copenhagen conference.

At the same time, however, the international community has not reached a thorough political consensus on what the new deal will have as its framework and main elements.

The principles or institutional arrangements agreed by different countries so far are more of a continuation of the Kyoto Protocol, besides reflecting the achievements of the negotiations reached at the Cancun, Durban, Doha and Warsaw conferences. But in terms of how each principle would be interpreted, remarkable differences exist between developed countries and developing countries, as well as among developing countries. Therefore, it will be difficult for all parties to reach a legally binding international pact within one year.

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
1   2   3   Next  

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from