COP20: Ban Ki-moon hails delegates for paving way to ‘meaningful’ climate agreement

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Secretary-General ban Ki-moon addresses the UN Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru. UN Photo/Mark Garten

Sec­re­tary-Gen­er­al ban Ki-moon address­es the UN Cli­mate Change Con­fer­ence in Lima, Peru. UN Photo/Mark Garten

14 Decem­ber 2014 – Sec­re­tary-Gen­er­al Ban Ki-moon has hailed the out­come of a Unit­ed Nations-backed cli­mate con­fer­ence recent­ly con­clud­ed in Lima, Peru, prais­ing del­e­gates for set­ting the ground­work for a more con­clu­sive agree­ment to be reached in 2015, a spokesper­son for the Orga­ni­za­tion today announced.

The UN Cli­mate Change Con­fer­ence (UNFCCC), known also as Con­fer­ence of the Par­ties (COP 20), con­clud­ed its 12-day meet­ing last Fri­day hav­ing brought togeth­er the 196 Par­ties to the UNFCCC in an attempt to ham­mer out a new uni­ver­sal treaty which would enter force by 2020. The final agree­ment is expect­ed to be hashed out in Paris at the end of next year.

The deci­sions adopt­ed in Lima, includ­ing the Lima Call for Cli­mate Action, pave the way for the adop­tion of a uni­ver­sal and mean­ing­ful agree­ment in 2015,” the UN spokesper­son said in a state­ment. “The Sec­re­tary-Gen­er­al urges all Par­ties, at their first meet­ing in Feb­ru­ary next year, to enter into sub­stan­tive nego­ti­a­tions on the draft text of the 2015 agree­ment com­ing from the Conference.”

In the state­ment, Mr. Ban applaud­ed del­e­gates for hav­ing made “impor­tant advances” in clar­i­fy­ing their needs for prepar­ing and pre­sent­ing their so-called Intend­ed Nation­al­ly Deter­mined Con­tri­bu­tions (IND­Cs) to the new agree­ment and in “final­iz­ing the insti­tu­tion­al archi­tec­ture for a mech­a­nism on loss and damage.”

IND­Cs are the com­mit­ments coun­tries are expect­ed to make in order to keep aver­age glob­al tem­per­a­ture rise below 2ºC – the inter­na­tion­al­ly-agreed lim­it aimed at staving off irre­versible cli­mate change.

Also in Lima, acknowl­edged the state­ment, the $10 bil­lion goal for the ini­tial cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion of the Green Cli­mate Fund – the ini­tia­tive designed to direct fund­ing from devel­oped nations to those devel­op­ing coun­tries most vul­ner­a­ble to cli­mate change – was surpassed.

The Sec­re­tary-Gen­er­al has long spot­light­ed the urgency of deliv­er­ing a draft text pro­vid­ing a clear and sol­id foun­da­tion for the upcom­ing Paris nego­ti­a­tions, warn­ing del­e­gates dur­ing the Lima con­fer­ence that “the more we delay, the more we will pay.”

Dur­ing the final hours of the Con­fer­ence, nego­ti­a­tions report­ed­ly “stum­bled” over dif­fi­cult issues, such as how to dif­fer­en­ti­ate the oblig­a­tions and respon­si­bil­i­ties of devel­op­ing and devel­oped coun­tries, with frus­tra­tion grow­ing among many of the attendees.

UNFCCC Exec­u­tive Sec­re­tary, Chris­tiana Figueres, admit­ted that the two-week con­fer­ence had, in fact, proven to be “very, very chal­leng­ing” but she nonethe­less praised the out­come as it had left “a range of key deci­sions agreed and action-agen­das launched, includ­ing how to bet­ter scale up and finance adap­ta­tion, along­side actions on forests and education.”

With this COP and mov­ing on to Paris, we cement the fact that we will address cli­mate change,” she noted.















In his lat­est state­ment, Mr. Ban’s spokesper­son said the Sec­re­tary-Gen­er­al called on all par­ties, espe­cial­ly the world’s major economies, to sub­mit their “ambi­tious nation­al com­mit­ments well in advance of Paris” and added that the UN chief looked for­ward to work­ing with both the Gov­ern­ments of Peru and France on a new Lima-Paris Action Agen­da to “catal­yse action on cli­mate change to fur­ther increase ambi­tion before 2020 and to sup­port the 2015 agreement.”