The intense negotiations in Lima were an important step toward a potential global climate deal in Paris in December 2015, but the future remains unclear. For many the outcome was far from sufficient; talks fell short of expectations as regards binding commitments on emission reduction targets and transparent reporting standards, which some say will make the negotiations in Paris next year much harder. For those who see the glass as half full, Lima puts the international community back on track for a deal in Paris.
Negotiations addressed existing classification of rich and poor countries and the need to adapt them to today’s reality, with proposals put forward to provide a mechanism to overcome the current system that often leads to disputes. Another encouraging sign is that many countries have now contributed to the UN’s Green Climate Fund, which has reached its objective of raising $10bn in 2014. But this is just the beginning, and it will be crucial that the global community fulfils its promise to make $100bn per year available after 2020 to help poorer countries adapt to the impact of climate change.
Compared with previous climate negotiations, a new sense of urgency was apparent in Lima. Also the biggest emitters, China and the US, are on board in the fight against climate change and have not obstructed the talks. While it’s no surprise that China and India refuse to comply with mandatory rules, it is encouraging that these two nations recognise the need to act.