Lima outcome shows urgent need for confidence-building measures to secure global climate deal at Paris 2015

Clare Saxon Ghauri
Reading time: 6 minutes
14 December 2014

LIMA: Today world leaders agreed on the 'ground rules' for a new 2015 agreement on climate change which includes action from both developed and developing countries, marking the end of the two-week COP20 climate talks in Lima.

As well as consensus on the elements of a new global climate deal that is set to be agreed a year from now at COP21 in Paris, world governments also agreed on the ground rules of how all nations can submit their contributions in the first quarter of the coming year.

Called Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), these pledges will shape the post-2020 climate action that the global deal will set out.

However, Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group stresses the need for continued ambition from governments to secure a real low carbon economy, and momentum for Paris next year and the coming decades: “The one thing to clearly emerge from Lima is that there is still a lot of work to be done in terms of confidence-building among those involved in this process. Lima has given us a basis for delivering a global agreement in Paris next year. But we urgently need to move away from the zero-sum game model of doing business and improve on what has been agreed in Lima if we’re to get the agreement we actually need. The INDCs are an opportunity for governments to set out what practically needs to be done to reduce emissions to net-zero by 2050.

“Many businesses and sub-national governments are already delivering the sort of leadership required. But they need national governments to step up and provide the signals needed to scale up the use of and investment in low carbon technologies and energy efficiency measures needed to ensure we limit global warming to no more than 2C. We need to be looking at the climate process as an opportunity to redesign a strong, low carbon economy which delivers prosperity, meets development goals and averts the devastating effects of runaway climate change. The rate of return on low carbon investments currently averages approximately 25%. On economic and business grounds alone, it is a no-brainer. Delay, on the other hand, is costly and risky. This has got to be the bottom line.

“By the time world leaders meet at the Paris COP in December 2015, the relationships need to be in place which not only ensure a robust and workable treaty, but also puts in place the international architecture that will allow the world to ratchet up ambition in the coming two to three decades.”

Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, the Minister of the Environment of Peru and the COP President, said: "Lima has given new urgency towards fast tracking adaptation and building resilience across the developing world—not least by strengthening the link to finance and the development of national adaptation plans. Meanwhile here in Lima, governments have left with a far clearer vision of what the draft Paris agreement will look like as we head into 2015 and the next round of negotiations in Geneva."

Other pioneering progress from COP20 in Lima included breakthroughs in elevating national climate adaptation to the same level as mitigation, as well as the fact the total of the Green Climate Fund was edged past its US $10 billion target, with new pledges made by Norway, Australia, Belgium, Peru, Colombia and Austria.

A group of 17 industrialized countries were also questioned about their emissions targets under a new process for reporting and measuring targets called a Multilateral Assessment, marking a step-change in the levels of transparency and confidence in the negotiations process.

The Assessment revealed success stories in both climate policy and clean technology innovation from around the world, providing fresh evidence that emission reductions and economic growth are not mutually exclusive.

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework on Climate Change, said: "Governments arrived in Lima on a wave of positive news and optimism resulting from the climate action announcements of the European Union, China and the United States to the scaling up of pledges for the Green Climate Fund.

"They leave Lima on a fresh wave of positivity towards Paris with a range of key decisions agreed and action-agendas launched, including on how to better scale up and finance adaptation, alongside actions on forests and education."

As the COP20 entered its concluding hours, Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group had stressed the importance of success at Lima in shaping the next 12 months. He statedWhat we need from Lima is a draft negotiating text for Paris next year and an agreement on the framework for national climate action pledges, which countries are expected to make by March 2015."

Thanking Ollanta Humala, the President of Peru, for hosting COP20, Christiana Figueres added: "The negotiations here reached a new level of realism and understanding about what needs to be done now, over the next 12 months and into the years and decades to come if climate change is to be truly and decisively addressed."

Because Paris is hosting the next climate talks, the governments of Peru and France also launched a Lima-Paris Action Agenda to further boost support for a global deal in Paris, by driving national, city and private sector action.

By Clare Saxon

We are releasing a post-COP briefing in the next few days as well as producing COP20 coverage in our news and blogs and on Twitter. Our States & Regions events in Lima can be tracked on hashtag #statesandregions.

And in case you missed it, here's a brief background to the COP20 in Lima and our infographic showing the history of the COP negotiations.


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