Large parts of this week have been spent lobbying countries (or parties in UN jargon) into putting ‘intergenerational equity’ (INTEQ) and ‘net zero emissions by 2050′ forwards to draft decision texts for the COP20 and the Paris 2015 climate agreement. We’re successful in getting countries with us; the obstacles are countries that are against us, blocking progress.
Also, the high level segment of COP 20 started this week. For residents of Lima this means the already constipated traffic in this city just became worse, due to hundreds of ministers and state leaders driving back and forth with entourages and police escorts, blocking all other traffic. For us it has meant having meetings with our environment minister, and members of parliament, Q&A with Al Gore, press conference with John Kerry, informal chats with Mary Robinson, bumping into Ségoléne Royal and observing Ban-Ki Moon trying to make his own Ceviche. And most importantly, loads of free food and drinks.
Al Gore emphasized the inadequacy of GDP as a indicator of a country’s economy, as it doesn’t include environmental destruction and resource exploitation. Mary Robinson stressed the huge implications climate change has on human rights, gender issues and especially women’s rights. Both expressed concerns about the growing and unsolved problem of climate refugees, Al Gore claiming that Syria had a million people internally displaced due to climate change between ’06 & ’10, contributing to the unrest that lead to the human tragedy we see today (!!).
Negotiations are moving unbelievably slowly, as usual, but there are a few, small good news: The green climate fund (GCF) has reached US$ 10 billion, Germany pledged €80 million to the adaptation fund and Norway finally pledged NOK 1, 6 billion for the GCF. Still, this is nowhere close to enough. In general, the atmosphere is still friendlier and more optimistic than it was in Warszawa last year. That being said, the tension between parties in the negotiations is growing, and negotiations broke down on thursday.
A general impression is that the pressure from civil society is greater than ever. The great climate marches in New York and Lima this year show great engagements, while both Christiana Figueres and John Kerry have emphasized the importance of sustained pressure from civil society towards our leaders.
So let’s see where this ends… Hopefully somewhere that leads to climate justice and a fair deal!
By the way, have a look at these articles that we have written or contributed to!
Written by Are Einari Skau, Spire