Minister Kelly today (14 December 2014) welcomed the agreement in the early hours of a decision by Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on advancing the work of the Durban platform – the Lima Call for Climate Action. “This decision marks a significant step on the road to Paris at the end of 2015″, said Minister Kelly, noting that Parties have underscored their commitment to reaching an ambitious agreement in 2015 and have, in the course of negotiations in Lima, also elaborated the elements of a draft negotiating text. The decision also outlines the process for bringing forward their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) in the course of 2015 and sets out the information to be provided with them to facilitate clarity, transparency and understanding. In these two outcomes, the Lima Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC has delivered a successful outcome.
Key issues such as differentiation between Parties and the scope of INDCs at times made for difficult negotiations. “The negotiations in Lima were difficult and required compromise by all Parties” said Minister Alan Kelly, “but the Peruvian hosts of the Conference invested huge amounts of time and effort into the negotiations, engaging with all Parties to secure broad consensus”. Key issues of importance to the EU, for example, on ensuring that Parties would have guidance on the information to clarify contributions and a process to ensure consideration of the aggregate effect of Parties efforts, were secured in the final decision.
The EU has already committed to bringing forward its INDC in the first quarter of 2015 on the basis of the 2030 Climate Energy Framework agreed in October which committed the EU to an ambitious 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions relative to 2005.
In line with the Lima decision, INDCs will be published on the website of the UNFCCC, ensuring access for all Parties to what others are proposing to do, and Parties have further agreed that a synthesis report on the aggregate effect of contributions towards the ultimate objective of the Convention will be published in November 2015 in advance of COP21 in Paris in December. The ultimate objective of the Convention is to stabilise greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system – in 2011, Parties agreed to translate this into a goal of keeping the average global temperature increase to less than two degrees Celsius.
In addition to a significant number of decisions in relation to a wide range of more technical and implementation issues, the two-week Lima conference also saw Parties make progress towards the text of a new agreement to be finalised in Paris. The elements for a draft negotiating text, annexed to the Lima decision, reflect positions and proposals from all Parties and as such include many different options. Significant work will be required to prepare the draft negotiating text by May 2015. The next meeting to advance this work will take place in Geneva in February 2015.
Ireland was represented at the Conference by Alex White T.D., Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. Addressing the Plenary Session of the Conference, Minister White stressed Ireland’s commitment to play its part in delivering an ambitious, global response climate change and highlighted Ireland’s action and progress in this area.
“Next year will require further efforts by all Parties to reach agreement on a negotiating text” said Minister Kelly. “It will be a difficult year, but one that will see a new global and ambitious agreement on climate change applicable to all Parties – the Lima decision sends a signal to all that Parties are serious about delivering in Paris in December 2015”.