Lima climate summit begins 2-week parlay

Updated: 2014-12-02 11:33

By Lan Lan in Lima(China Daily USA)

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 Lima climate summit begins 2-week parlay

The United Nations Climate Change Conference is underway in Lima, Peru. A conference ambassador wears a skirt made from recycled materials on Monday. Lan Lan / China Daily

Delegates from more than 196 countries started a new round of climate change talks in Lima, Peru, on Monday with the goal of hammering out a draft global agreement on emissions reductions to be signed in Paris next year.

The two-week Lima conference will be a key step toward a successful outcome in Paris, said Su Wei, China's chief climate negotiator and director general of the Climate Change Department under the National Development and Reform Commission, in Lima on Monday.

The Chinese government hopes parties can accelerate pre-2020 actions. Developed countries should contribute ambitious emissions reductions before 2020 and provide financing, technology transfer and capacity building as promised to developing countries, said Su.

According to the conference's agenda, countries will put forward what they propose to contribute to the planned 2015 agreement in the form of intended nationally determined contributions by the first quarter of 2015.

"China hopes the Lima conference will lead to a 2015 agreement that reflects the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and fairness," said Su.

Observers said the joint climate announcement made by China and the US earlier this month and the target announced by the European Union has "injected positive impetus into the negotiations".

European Commission chief negotiator Elina Bardram said the EU welcomed the announcement made by the US and China on Nov 12.

It's a "very positive" deal and it's allied to the agreement the EU reached on Oct 24, said Bardram, calling on other major economies to "be a part of the game and do it on time".

China said it intends to peak its carbon emissions around 2030 and the US set new goals to cut emissions to 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.

European Union leaders reached an agreement to see the bloc's carbon emissions cut by 40 percent by 2030 from 1990 levels.

"This joint announcement provides both practical and political momentum towards a new, universal climate agreement in Paris in late 2015," said Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN framework convention on climate change.

In her opening address to the conference on Monday, she warned of the urgency of taking action and said 2014 was likely to be the hottest year on record as emissions continued to rise.

"Here in Lima, to aspire to great heights ourselves, we must draw several critical lines of action," she said.

Developed countries have pledged $9.7 billion to the new Green Climate Fund, but the amount remains too small compared to their promise to mobilize $100 billion per year in climate finance by 2020.

Observers urged developed countries to present a credible roadmap on how they are going to mobilize the funding in order to meet the commitment.

All countries must use the Lima summit to resolve the impasse over "climate finance", and make success possible at the critical Paris talks in December 2015, said international agency Oxfam.

"The $100 billion promise is an iconic reference point in global climate negotiations," said Oxfam executive director Winnie Byanyima. "Countries have haggled over it for years. But for people on the front lines of the climate crisis, this abstract number has made little to no difference in their lives."