Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, has hailed the outcome of the Lima climate conference that concluded on the weekend in Peru and praised officials for setting the groundwork for a binding agreement to be reached in Paris next year 2015, according to a UN statement.
The annual UN Climate Change Conference, also known as the Conference of the Parties (COP), concluded its two week meeting on Saturday having brought together the 196 Parties together in an attempt to finalise out a new global deal which would enter force by 2020.
The statement said: “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 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.”
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 “finalising 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 averting off irreversible climate change.
The US$10 billion goal for the initial capitalisation of the Green Climate Fund was also reached in Lima.
The fund is designed to direct investment from developed countries to the developing nations most vulnerable to climate change.
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 meeting, negotiations reportedly “stumbled” over certain issues including how to differentiate the obligations and responsibilities of developing and developed countries.
Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, said the conference had proven to be “very, very challenging” but 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.”
Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said the Secretary-General called on all parties 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.”
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