The first week at Lima.

From here it appears that COP 20 at Lima has been so far more nuts and bolts than high level pronouncements.  That may change this coming week as country delegates tackle two significant issues:

  1.  what information countries must provide to support their further pledges for lower emission targets for the period 2020-2025, and
  2. formulation of a draft text of the proposed convention in advance of the Paris meeting.

Christian Holz, a Lima Delegate from CAN-RAC, explains that the atmosphere is more positive.  Holz describes the Conference as “hard-working” and adds that while “there is still a lot of stuff to be decided”, the Conference seems to be on track to organize the information issue (see item 1 above) in a way that it can be taken up by Ministers.

There are several factors that led to the positive atmosphere at Lima.  The China/US announcement about emission targets earlier this fall imparted “momentum” to the Conference.  No country wishes to take a stand on subsidiary matters that could lead to the dissipation of this momentum.

A second factor is the progress of the Green Climate Fund (GCF).  Two days ago, Norway increased its GCF contribution from $33 million to $225 million US.   That generous contribution brought the total of country pledges to nearly the $10 billion that is considered necessary. Although it has been a negative influence at the previous COP meetings, Canada recently committed to a pledge of  $265 million (US) to the GCF.

A comparison is in order.  Norway’s population is one –seventh that of Canada’s.  Norway’s emissions of CO2 are less than one –eighth of Canada’s emissions. That is why Canada could should do more, at least in the opinion of environmental organizations.

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