The COP20 CMP10 had just ended in Lima, Peru on 12 Dec. I was nominated to join as a youth delegate but was unfortunately unable to attend. However, I’ve heard many things from people about this year’s conference. Quite frankly, whenever it comes to UN conferences on climate change, my skeptical mode switches on. From last few years’ learning from conferences such as the one in Copenhagen, it seemed like all talk, little achievements and no solid conclusions. It has been notoriously known that countries come together not to work in peace and harmony on a coordinated plan to mitigate climate change but rather to pit against each other with their own interests.
What have been agreed
- US: Committed to cut their emissions (Also first time that the US Secretary of State engaged directly in climate talks, giving a lot of teeth in the negotiations) by shuttering hundreds of coal-fired plants
- China: Offered to set date of 2030 for peak emissions
- EU: 40% cut in emissions by 2030 and new targets w.r.t. renewable energy.
What haven’t been agreed
- No obligation from BRICs to cut emissions, but accepted that world needs a cap as whole
- Developed countries’ commitment to the emerging economies to assist and provide funds for their carbon-cutting initiatives
The Kyoto Protocol was set in 1997 to engage countries (mostly developed) in the common bid to fix global temperature rise to 2 degree celcius and 350ppm as carbon output level. The commitment will expire on 2020. The 194 countries who attended the Lima conference reached key decisions that will influence the climate change pact for the 2015 Paris conference, and hopefully by 2020 the world shall see the results that it had set out to achieve more than 20 years back.