UN Climate negotiations concluded in Lima on Sunday, with what appears to be a modest agreement about the building blocks of a deal due to be agreed in Paris in 2015.
The agreement calls for all countries to submit plans for curbing greenhouse gas emissions to the UN by an informal deadline of 31 March 2015. The submissions will be published on the website of the UN Climate Change Secretariat, and will be used as the basis of a report on the overall effect, which will be prepared by 1st November 2015.
The agreement says the country submissions “may include” details such as base years and yearly targets and is far weaker than the former draft that said nations “shall provide” such details.
As well as a weakened language in the agreement there are a number of other areas that remain vague or poorly defined, the areas of greatest concern for environmental campaigners are countries putting off decisions about the legal structure of the agreement or deferring decisions about ensuring flow of finance to developing countries.
Julia Evans Chief Executive of BSRIA welcomed the commitment of the negotiators but doubted whether the agreement goes far enough. “The science behind global warming is real, there is no Planet B, we have to get this right. As a global industry we need clear direction from our Governments so it was disappointing to see that the agreement no longer makes it mandatory for all countries to provide detailed information about their reduction targets; that said in the UK we are better placed than other countries as the European Union has already come forward with pledges for post 2020”.
Julia continued to say that “all eyes will be on Paris next year and the hope that the politicians deliver a treaty which will make the difference and provides clear direction to our industry, as we will be in the vanguard of meeting the targets to which Governments commit”.