Lima climate change summit: ‘weak’ UN deal could let countries dodge green … – Telegraph.co.uk

Posted: Sunday, December 14, 2014

But after objections from developing nations the eventual text was watered
down so the rules are voluntary. “It’s totally up to you now whether you
provide that information or not,” Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned
Scientists said. “It’s the bare minimum we needed to come out of here with;
it’s not what we hoped for.”

Samantha Smith, of environmental group WWF, said the rules had gone from “weak
to weaker to weakest”.

Ed Davey, the energy and climate change secretary, insisted he was “completely
relaxed” about the watered down rules, claiming that countries would have to
provide the information anyway due to “political pressure”. He denied that
the UK would be left going green further and faster than its neighbours,
arguing some other European nations had already gone further.

But even if detailed pledges are forthcoming Mr Davey acknowledged they would
fall well short of the level necessary to avert dangerous levels of global
warming, of 2C above pre-industrial levels.

There would be “a gap between what the world is offering and what the science
says we need to do,” he said.

Experts warned that the scale of divisions laid bare at Lima did not bode well
for the chances of securing a strong and binding global deal in Paris.

Jonathan Grant, sustainability and climate change director at PwC, said the
“trench warfare” mentality between different factions seen in Lima could
result in the talks “falling off the cliff in Paris”.

A long list of fundamental issues remain to be resolved over the next year,
including the legal status of any Paris deal and demands from poor countries
for more cash from rich nations to help them to help poorer nations cut
emissions and cope with the effects of global warming.

Rich countries have previously promised a vague goal of “mobilising” $100bn of
“climate finance” a year for poor nations by 2020 but the concepts are
ill-defined, leading to wrangling as poor countries say their wealthier
neighbours have not done enough.

“The biggest thing that is really, really unresolved is the money,” said
Michael Jacobs, visiting professor at the LSE’s Grantham climate research
institute.

“The developed countries have got to find some way of showing they can provide
the $100bn they promised, and at least some financial contribution
post-2020. This is hard: this is a core demand of the developing countries
but the hardest things for the developed countries, both because they don’t
feel they have got so much money but also because it’s hard to budget
ahead.”

Mr Davey admitted that the talks in Paris were likely to be “even more
difficult than Lima” but said he remained confident of a deal. “I’m very
excited by the prospects for a deal next year. It will be tough but for the
first time, I think ever, the world can contemplate a global deal applicable
to all.”

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