What actually happened at COP20 Lima? Analysis from our Head of Policy

Reading time: 3 minutes
18 December 2014

LONDON: Continuing what is now a familiar pattern each year, COP20 in Lima, Peru, finished in the early hours of Sunday December 14, around 30 hours after its official deadline. But what actually happened? Our Head of International Policy Damian Ryan analyzes the outcomes from COP20 in our latest Insight Briefing.

After a welcome year of high-profile and positive announcements on climate action from around the world, for many the Lima COP unfortunately fell short of what could have potentially been delivered.

But while it's true the negotiation process remains alive and moving in the right general direction post Lima, national governments have set themselves a challenge for the coming 12 months if they are to agree a new and ambitious global climate deal in COP21, Paris this time next year

It seems as though it is the institutional structure of the process itself which presents the biggest risk to success in Paris, but our author suggests this can be mitigated through "early leadership, a clear and mutual understanding of what success should look like and a healthy injection of optimism and pragmatism from outside the UNFCCC bubble". In particular, he highlights the Lima Call to Climate Action.

Damian Ryan, Head of International Policy, The Climate Group, writes: "The defining and most important decision, however, is the ‘Lima Call for Climate Action’. This decision covers the three key issues that negotiators needed to substantively advance in Lima in order to put talks on a new global climate deal on a strong footing for achieving an ambitious outcome in Paris in December next year."

These key issues are listed as: 

  • Agreement on the elements of a formal, draft negotiating text.
  • Agreement on the framework and information required for so-called Intended Nationally Determined Contributions – the commitments countries will take on under a new global deal.
  • Agreement on actions countries will voluntarily take to enhance ambition in the pre-2020 period (i.e., before the new global deal comes into force).

The Insight Briefing note looks further at the key outcomes from COP20, shares the reactions from business and other observers, and provides our own assessment of what Lima means for the road ahead.

Read it now


Want to read more about COP? As well as our pre and post-COP briefings we also produce 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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Read our CEO Mark Kenber's response to the COP20 outcomes

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