World edging towards new treaty on climate change

11th December 2013


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Greville Kelly

World leaders are on course to deliver a new global climate change treaty in 2015, claimed Marcin Korolec, president of the UN climate change conference in Warsaw (COP19)

“It has set a pathway for governments to work on a draft of a new universal climate agreement,” said Korolec as 11 days of negotiations ended.

The conference agreed a timeframe for countries to table their contributions to reduce or limit greenhouse-gas emissions under a new global climate agreement, which is due to come into force in 2020. Details of these contributions have to be outlined ahead of COP21 in Paris in 2015.

“All countries must contribute to future reduction efforts, and table their contributions well in advance of the Paris conference,” confirmed EU climate change commissioner Connie Hedegaard.

The conference also established an international mechanism for damage and casualties, which should boost protection of the most vulnerable people from climate change and extreme weather, and changes to the UN-REDD framework, which aims to reduce the amount of carbon emissions generated as a result of deforestation and forest degradation.

However, the gulf between developed and developing nations that emerged at COP17 in Durban two years ago has not been bridged. A group of “like-minded” countries, including China and India, wants to retain the strict separation between developed and developing countries that is enshrined in the Kyoto protocol, while industrialised nations, such as the US and the EU bloc, are keen to develop a new global regime.

“Looking ahead, 2014 will be a crucial year on the road to Paris, with developed and developing countries having to deal with the underlying dilemmas and divisions between them for a deal to be inked in 2015,” said Haege Fjellheim, senior analyst at Point Carbon.

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