Countries set in motion 2015 climate deal
Negotiators haggle into early hours of Sunday morning to strike deal set to be finalized in Paris in 2015.

Almost 200 nations agreed on the foundation for a global climate pact on Sunday due to be finalized in 2015.

For the first time ever, countries will have to put forward "nationally determined” plans to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions from next March, with the aim of reigning in rising temperatures.

That formed a key part of the draft text produced early Sunday morning, which countries are set to ratify and sign in Paris next year, to move beyond the Kyoto treaty that expires in 2020.

President of the summit and Peru Environment Minister, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, received a standing ovation in honor of his interventions in seeking compromise was credited as key to the endangered text’s production.

"Governments have left with a far clearer vision of what the draft Paris agreement will look like as we head into 2015 and the next round of negotiations in Geneva,” Pulgar-Vidal said.

But non-governmental groups criticized the text’s lack of ambition in holding temperatures below a 3.6 F (2 C) temperature rise on pre-industrial levels by the end of the century.

Lidy Nacpil, coordinator of Jubilee South Asia Pacific, said the world had "buried its head in the sand” by approving "weak and unjust 2020 climate targets.”

"This outcome took a long drawn out fight and the end result is still so far from what the people need,” said Meena Raman, negotiations expert at the Malaysia-based Third World Network.

Raman called out the developed world for its "sheer lack of responsibility.”

A showdown between rich and poor nations was centered on voluntary emissions reduction targets.

Developed countries, including the United States and European Union, called for all countries to be bound to lower heat-trapping gases, hitherto ruled out by the original Kyoto treaty.

Poorer countries led by India and China refused, saying it would threaten poverty reduction efforts.

Developing countries made advances in making space for "loss and damage” -- where countries vulnerable to climate change receive compensation in cases of typhoons or droughts -- as well as climate aid.

The two-week talks were buoyed by a grand joint announcement by the U.S. and China in November, which gave momentum to the agreement.

The U.S. pledged to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 26 to 28 percent by 2025 on 2005 levels, while China agreed to an emissions peak by "around 2030.”

Growing scientific evidence, as contained in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report, outlined rising sea levels and the acidification of the oceans. This evidence helped energize the case for action.

Climate change talks are historically a fraught process, tying together competing interests of the oil exporting countries in the Middle East and African countries, for example.

Lima’s legacy may well be best placed in its inclusion of a plan to phase out fossil fuels by 2050.

"Lima was never meant to solve climate change. But it succeeded in creating a negotiation text for next year containing radical proposals to phase out of fossil fuels by 2050,” Liz Gallagher of the E3G think tank told Anadolu Agency.

Delegates will meet in February in Switzerland to continue negotiations.

Last Modified: 2014-12-15 13:24:24
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