After running 31 hours past the scheduled close of the UN climate conference in Lima, Peru, negotiators “signed off on an outcome that neither reflects the growing public support for the ongoing transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies nor the urgency to accelerate this transition,” reports the 450-member Global Call for Climate Action.
“While the Lima Decision reaffirmed that governments have to put the individual climate pledges on table in the first half of next year, forming the foundations of the global climate agreement due in Paris next December, many of the big issues that have plagued the talks for years were shirked and left for later.”
Despite high hopes earlier in the two-week conference, the Lima meetings lost momentum on key outstanding issues, including financing for climate action in developing countries, robust assessment of the post-2020 emission reduction commitments that nations are to develop by mid-2015, and emission reductions between 2015 and 2020.
“One of Lima’s biggest disconnects on display was the inability of governments to pick any of the low-hanging fruit provided by the recent explosive growth in the renewable energy—growth driven by plummeting prices over the last few years—apparently ignoring the enormous gap between their current commitments and the need to move quickly and strongly,” noted the GCCA’s Daily Tck live blog.
One bright spot was that Lima delegates “were in sync with the emerging consensus around the world that we need to phase out fossil fuels, illustrated by this phaseout being listed as one of the options in the draft outline for the Paris agreement.” The final draft negotiating text is now expected in May.
“Once again, poorer nations have been bullied by the industrialized world into accepting an outcome which leaves many of their citizens facing the grim prospect of catastrophic climate change,” said Friends of the Earth climate campaigner Asad Rehman. “We have the ingenuity and resources to build the low carbon future we so urgently need—but we still lack the political will.”
“This outcome can only be read as a call to action for people around the world,” said Oxfam International Executive Director Winnie Byanyima. “Governments will not deliver the solutions we need unless more people stand up to make our voices heard.”