Lima sets groundwork for Paris talks

Updated: 2014-12-14 22:47

By  Lan Lan in Lima(China Daily USA)

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The marathon Lima climate summit finally ended in the wee hours of Sunday morning, more than 32 hours after the scheduled finish deadline.

More than 190 countries reached consensus on a document named "Lima Call for Action", which sets a basis for a negotiating text at the Paris summit next year.

Xie Zhenhua, head of the Chinese delegation, said the outcome has met the Chinese delegation's expectations.

"We're not very satisfied with the outcome, but we think it's a balanced and good document," Xie said after the meeting ended on Sunday.

He said the Lima summit has taken a critical step toward next year's Paris agreement, and he said he believes next years' negotiations will be more challenging, and he called on parties to show greater flexibility.

The 13-day Lima summit was held in large tents erected in the "Little Pentagon" in the city's outskirts.

The hot tents gave the negotiators a direct experience of the greenhouse effect — inside, they had to remove their jackets — but negotiations on cutting greenhouse gas emissions and to regulate global warming remained tough, especially over the past two days.

Developing countries were frustrated to see low commitments from developed countries and found many of their core concerns — such as the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, balance of mitigation and adaptation, loss and damage — not being reflected in a five-page draft text that proposed by the co-chairs early Saturday morning.

The final version of the document had been redrafted on the basis of consultation, thanks to the leadership of the president of the conference, Xie said.

Observers said the president met with countries and groups individually and redrafted the text based on these meetings.

A major concern of the developing countries, the "common but differentiated responsibilities", or CBDR, had been missing and were added in the final text.

Su Wei, China's chief climate negotiator said the Lima call for climate action lays a solid foundation for meetings next year.

He also said the CBDR is very important principle of the Convention and the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action is about to enhance and reinforce the application of the provisions of the Convention. "It doesn't make sense to rewrite or renegotiate the Convention," said Su.

The Lima meeting began in a positive atmosphere as the recent joint announcement by China and the United State on cutting carbon dioxide emissions had given the negotiations a positive momentum.

Climate experts say the China-US announcement set a model for solving the sticking points between developed and developing countries.

The Lima document underscores its commitment to reaching an ambitious agreement in 2015 that reflects the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in light of different national circumstances.

Jennifer Morgan, global director of the climate program at the World Resources Institute, said the Lima deal has addressed differentiation in the same language as the China-US deal.

The important thing in Lima is to get a negotiating text for Paris meeting, Morgan said. "It's pretty balanced actually."