The UN Climate Change Conference in Warsaw Poland was drawn to a close last weekend by Martin Korelec, president of the Cop 19 Conference who stated: “Warsaw has set a pathway for governments to work on a draft text of a new universal climate agreement so it appears on the table at the next UN Climate change conference in Peru. This is an essential step to reach a final agreement in Paris, in 2015.”
The main features of the agreement relate to an increased focus on technology transfer from developed to developing countries and engagement of expert consultancy groups in assisting the developing world.
The main features of the Cop 19 agreement are:
- It was reported that member governments have now completed work on the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN), designed to assist developing countries in setting up focal points to accelerate the transfer of technology.
- An internal mechanism was established to provide the most vulnerable populations with better protection against loss and damage caused by extreme weather events and slow onset events such as rising sea levels: the so called ‘Warsaw International Mechanism for loss and damage.”
- A comprehensive list of plans was agreed upon to enable developing countries to better assess the immediate impacts of climate change and what they need to do to become more resilient – several developed countries had pledged more than $100 million to the adaptation fund to fund such projects
- The United States, United Kingdom and Norway pledged $280 million to assist developing countries reducing deforestation and degradation of forests.
- Developing countries are to prepare biennial submissions on their updated strategies and approaches for scaling up finance between 2014 and 2020.
- Forthcoming contributions of public climate finance to support developing nations will shortly be made by the United States, European Union and others. Developed countries are also to prepare statements once every two years on how they are planning to scale up climate finance to deliver $100 bn per year by 2020.
- The Green Climate Fund will also commence its initial resource mobilization process in December 2014.
China did, however, lead a push back by some nations arguing in their terms for more flexibility for poorer nations, which was seen by U.S. lead negotiator Todd Stern as suggesting that China was seeking to roll back earlier agreements, and in that regard he said he felt like he was “going into a time warp.”
Nevertheless, consensus among the United States and other delegations is that Warsaw has certainly put the world back on track and builds on COP 18’s push for greater commitment to the Green Climate Fund. COP 19 also moves us on to the next step in the processes which is the climate summit in New York on 23 September 2014, which has been described as a “solutions summit” of government, industry and civil society. United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki Moon declared that the 2014 Summit will “bring bold and new announcements and action.”