Can the world agree to an equitable climate deal before Paris?

Our coverage and updates from the 20th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 20) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), being held in Peru

Published: Thursday 04 December 2014

Top stories
Climate summit decisions will not result in a climate deal in 2015, says Centre for Science and Environment. World headed for a 3-4°C temperature rise
The two-week climate summit in Lima ended on a dismal note. Developed countries did not pledge to reduce their emissions from now till 2020. They also gave no concrete assurance to provide finance and technology to developing countries.
Government of the first country in the world to recognise nature's rights is under a cloud after murder of Jose Isidro Tendetza before he lodged a formal complaint against mining activities by China in Amazon's cloud forests
Author: Anupam Chakravartty
Ecuador was the first country in the world to recognise nature's rights in 2008 after its president, Rafael Correa, backed by indigenous and Left parties, came to power. Instead of the common understanding of nature as a property or resource, these rights adopted in the country's Constitution acknowledge that nature has a right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles and vests with people the authority to enforce these rights on behalf of ecosystems.
Least Developed Countries and civil society organisations call for an explicit inclusion of 'Loss and Damage' in the climate agreement being drafted
Author: Arjuna Srinidhi
As climate negotiations in Lima head into the final 24 hours, several key issues remain unresolved, such as differentiation and the scope of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). It is still unclear whether and how adaptation and "Loss and Damage" (L&D) will find place in the final agreement.
Indian environment minister says the country supports transparency of action but is against assessment of contributions
Author: Vijeta Rattani
India's environment minister Prakash Javadekar said in Lima that the new climate agreement in the works must be based on equity and differentiated responsibility. He was speaking at the High Ministerial Meeting on Durban Platform for Enhanced Action, held on December 10, where ministers from various countries made their presentations. The meeting was presided over by Conference of Parties (CoP) president, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal.
Inadequacy of targets and discrepancies in reporting highlighted at the first multilateral review of Annexe I parties
Author: Arjuna Srinidhi
The first ever multilateral review of contributions by developed countries was conducted at the COP 20 in Lima. Sixteen countries and the European Union participated in the session, the objectives of which were to improve transparency and discuss the progress on their 2020 targets for emission reduction.
Developed countries seem well-prepared with a plan to end differentiation between developed and developing countries in climate change mitigation efforts
Author: Chandra Bhushan
As the second week of the 20th climate conference started in Lima, developing countries are fighting to save even the semblance of the 1992 climate treaty-the Kyoto Protocol. There is a sense of despondency at the meeting venue. Last week, developing countries had to fight for two days to get the draft negotiating text on a screen in the conference room so that they could see what changes the co-chairs were making to the text. They also felt that the co-chairs were not including their point of views and suggestions. On Monday morning the co-chairs put out draft negotiation texts which developing nations felt was not reflecting their concerns and suggestions.
They claim their proposals on the new climate agreement in the works are not reflected in the revised text, tilted heavily in favour of rich nations
Author: Vijeta Rattani
Two new documents released by co-chairs of the Ad-hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP), Kishan Kumar Singh and Artur Runge-Metzer, at the ongoing climate talks in Lima left developing countries fuming.
Pledge to replant nearly 20 million hectares of forest by 2020
Author: Rajat Ghai
Eight countries of Latin America on Sunday pledged to replant nearly 20 million hectares of forest by 2020 on the sidelines of the UN climate conference in Lima, according to a report on the website of South African radio station Jacaranda FM. Agriculture and environment ministers from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile met at a sessiondubbed "20x20", held on the sidelines of the conference.
Around 13 per cent of original forest area deforested by 2014, according to a new report
Author: Jemima Rohekar
As Peru hosts the UN climate change conference in Lima, representatives of indigenous people have called attention to the country's own policies related to development and deforestation in Peruvian Amazon forests. A report titled "Revealing The Hidden", by AIDESEP (Interethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Amazon) and the Forest Peoples' Programme, highlights the main underlying drivers of deforestation and the indigenous people's struggle for land rights.
European Parliament members in Lima to push for higher commitments from nations to keep world on course to below 2°C temperature rise
Author: Kiran Pandey
As the climate talks in Lima entered the crucial second week, the European Union has called for responsible actions from all countries to achieve a climate deal in Paris that will not only contain global warming to below 2°C but also create jobs and foster sustainable growth. To this end, it called for establishing a 'Paris alliance' to guarantee success of the new agreement.
The standard launched in Lima will help cities track their emissions and develop action plans to reduce it
Author: Snigdha Das
Cities, the main source of global emissions, are central to the fight against climate change. Today, at the Lima Climate Change Conference (COP20), the first global standard to measure greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from cities has been launched. Called Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories (GPC), the standard will help cities voluntarily report their emissions, compare it with the emissions from other cities, help them create targeted action plans to reduce the emissions level and consistently track performance.
Climate change puts the health of people at risk, both directly and indirectly, say health professionals
Author: Kiran Pandey
Health professionals, public health experts and policymakers have called for a fair and legally binding global climate agreement in Paris in 2015 to protect and promote human health. This message was conveyed at the 2014 Climate and Health Summit, as part of the ongoing Lima climate change conference.
Even with measures to limit global warming to under 2°C, the costs of adaptation are likely to be two to three times the current estimates, says UN report
Author: Arjuna Srinidhi
In a clear message to the negotiators at the Lima climate summit, a new UN report outlines the soaring costs of adaptation and the urgent need to protect communities from the intensifying impacts of climate change. The first Adaptation Gap Report was released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) at the ongoing COP20 last week.
Even though differences over working mode of contact group was resolved, divide between developed and developing nations over content and language of draft text of new agreement and climate mitigation efforts persisted
Author: Vijeta Rattani
There was little progress in climate talks at Lima at the close the first week of negotiations. Deep differences emerged at the very onset of contact group discussions on the draft text of the proposed new climate agreement which is scheduled to be signed at the Paris summit next year.
Only 21 nations have so far accepted Doha Amendment to Kyoto Protocol for emissions reduction up to 2020
Author: Kiran Pandey
While talks are on in Lima to work out the new world climate deal which is to be signed in Paris next year, there is no certainty over the second commitment period of Kyoto Protocol which is crucial for keeping the world on course to containing global average temperature increase below 2°C over pre-industrial levels.
Top ministry official confirms that India will not announce a 'peaking year' for emissions
Author: Arjuna Srinidhi
The Indian delegation at COP20 in Lima spoke at length with civil society bodies and journalists on Friday to clarify India's stand in the ongoing climate negotiations as well as the country's priorities in the run up to the crucial summit in Paris in 2015.
As developed and developing countries continue to disagree over key elements of the new climate deal in the works, civil society groups suggest ways to keep nations on track for the final deal in Paris
Author: Kiran Pandey
Progress in the UN climate negotiations continued to suffer from a failure to resolve deep-seated differences of opinion between countries about key issues that should be covered by the comprehensive new agreement to deal with climate change, due to be signed in Paris at the end of next year.
What is particularly unusual and alarming this year are the high temperatures of vast areas of the ocean surface, including in the northern hemisphere, says WMO top official
Author: Vineet Kumar
UN's specialized agency, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), released a provisional statement at the ongoing Conference of Parties in Lima, Peru (COP 20). The Status of the Global Climate in 2014 says the year is on track to becoming the hottest, or one of the hottest years on record, largely due to record high global sea surface temperatures, which will very likely remain above normal until the end of the year.
Observers call for clear rules on climate finance to ensure money is not spent on projects that would cause climate change
Author: Aditi Sawant
The fundamental premise of climate finance is climate debt-the debt that developed nations pay for their historical pollution of our common atmosphere, offering developing countries a sober and low carbon means of development. The current level of climate finance is not only significantly inadequate when compared to the goal of $100 billion by 2020, but also inherently flawed in its mechanism.
Countries make little headway due to fundamental differences between developed and developing nations
Author: Arjuna Srinidhi
The second day of the Lima summit saw a heated debate take place between developed and developing countries, particularly on the issue of adaptation. Discussions during the session on the Ad hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform (ADP) exceeded working hours on December 2 and were continued the following day. Despite the extension, there was no consensus even on fundamental issues of adaptation.
UNFCCC Standing Committee on Finance releases first assessment report on financial flows related to climate action
Author: Vijeta Rattani
The UNFCCC Standing Committee on Finance, tasked with enhancing transparency and clarity on climate finance flows, released a report titled "The 2014 Biennial Assessment and Overview of Climate Finance Flows" on December 3 at the Lima summit. This first-of-its-kind assessment report compiled data on the flow of finance for emission reductions and adaptation, within countries and via international support.
BASIC and Arab group demand that the new agreement be based on equity and common but differentiated responsibility
Author: Vijeta Rattani
The first day of the Peru climate change conference saw representatives of different groups present their agenda and expectations of the 2015 agreement and the role of the Peru summit therein.
Negotiations in Lima expected to pave the way for new climate deal
Author: Vijeta Rattani and Arjuna Srinidhi
The Conference of Parties (COP 20) and the Conference of Parties serving as the Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 10) began on Monday in Lima, capital of Peru. The inaugural plenary session saw the presence of several dignitaries, including UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christina Figueres, new COP President Manuel Pulgar-Vidal and IPCC Chairperson R K Pachauri.
Over the course of the next two weeks, delegates will attempt to hammer out the new universal treaty, which would enter force by 2020
Author: Rajit Sengupta
More than 190 nations are participating in the 20th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 20) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which began in Lima, Peru on Monday. Christiana Figueres, executive secretary, UNFCCC, warned in her opening address that the international community "must write history" to survive climate change.
More stories
Contributions are believed to be a vital step towards reaching global climate agreement in Paris
Author: Vani Manocha
With contributions from Japan, Germany, France and the US at the G20 summit in Australia, the United Nation's Green Climate Fund has risen to US $7.5 billion. This is much within informal target of US $ 10 billion for this month. The fund will be committed to helping poor nations cope with global warming.
Nations announce financial support to help poor countries address climate change
Author: Vijeta Rattani
In the New York climate summit on September 23, leaders expressed strong support for the Green Climate Fund and many called for the fund's initial capitalisation at an amount no less than $10 billion. There was a total of $2.3 billion in pledges to the fund's initial capitalisation from six countries. Six others committed to allocate contributions by November 2014.
Summit seeks joint engagement by countries, civil society and private sector
Author: Aarthi Gunnupuri
Reminding all nations of their joint responsibility in arresting the effects of climate change, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stressed the importance of a low carbon climate for a resilient future. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the climate summit in New York on Wednesday (GMT), he reiterated that "our response will define our future."
Countries have a tight deadline to convey their national contributions before working towards a new binding climate deal to mitigate climate change
Author: Vijeta Rattani
Days after the New York climate summit called by UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon to encourage countries to raise their commitments and pledges for climate change mitigation, the international agency has set a deadline for a draft climate agreement. Artur Runge Metzger and Kishan Kumarsingh, the officials who are coordinating the UN process, have declared that countries have a deadline of developing a draft text by May 2015.
Synthesis report cites mass die-offs of forests, the melting of land ice, rapid rise in sea levels and crop destruction to give 'clear' and 'unequivocal' warning
Author: Aditi Sawant
The latest report of the Inter Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that global warming is "unequivocal", and that the role of humans in causing it is "clear". The report sent out a clear and sharp message that climate change is happening now.
Centre for Science and Environment's Vijeta Rattani writes from the UN Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru
Author: Vijeta Rattani
Starting Monday, Lima in Peru will host the 20th CoP (Conference of Parties), where a new climate agreement is scheduled to be formulated and which will lead to the critical Paris 2015 summit. The CoP will end December 12. There are huge expectations of the Peru summit. In broad terms, parties are required to negotiate a draft text of the new agreement.
It will take the world towards a catastrophic beyond 4°C temperature increase pathway
Author: Chandra Bhushan
On November 12, 2014, US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced a joint plan to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The deal came as a big surprise to most. After all it is a deal between the world's top polluters-the US is the world's biggest historical polluter while China is the biggest current polluter. According to news reports, the US and China had worked on the deal quietly for the past nine months.
At the UN Climate Summit plenaries most developed countries like the UK and the US displayed commitment through existing domestic policies and international aid, while offering no new contributions
Author: Aarthi Gunnupuri
In the months preceding the UN Climate Summit at New York, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had repeatedly called upon leaders from around the world to attend the summit with "bold actions and announcements". Earlier this week, prime ministers, presidents and representatives of governments from over 120 countries, both big and small, gathered at the UN headquarters in New York to demonstrate their commitment to fighting climate change.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change releases full version of fifth assessment report which reiterates what the draft report had said about a looming food crisis and health risks
Author: Vineet Kumar and Arjuna Srinidhi
Growing food could become harder which could lead to a food crisis was what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had said in March 2014 when it launched its report-Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability-as part of its Fifth Assessment Report. This message has been reiterated in the full version of the report released on October 16. The section focused on Asia identifies the most vulnerable regions as western Japan, eastern China, the southern part of the Indochina peninsula, and the northern part of South Asia.
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