Temperatures are rising at the UN’s annual climate gathering in Peru.
They are, according to energy secretary Ed Davey, “the most complex negotiations the world has ever undertaken”: representatives from 190 countries attempting to draft an unprecedented worldwide deal to tackle global warming.
But the near-9,000 delegates attending the UN’s climate change summit in Peru have found they also have a more local warming problem to contend with: the venue is too hot.
Sweltering temperatures inside the meeting halls have prompted many delegates to complain that the temporary buildings are generating their own “greenhouse effect” – with one Zimbabwean representative at Monday’s opening plenary reportedly even suggesting it was “too hot to work”. […]
While most delegates appeared in good spirits despite the heat, there remain numerous areas of disagreement over the shape of a global climate deal – which is being drafted in Lima and due to be officially agreed at next year’s summit in Paris. The aim is to come up with an agreement that will cut greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit global warming to 2C above pre-industrial levels, beyond which scientists say the effects will be far more dangerous.
How much rich countries should pay to help poorer countries tackle and adapt to climate change is among the most contentious issues. Developed nations have so far pledged almost $10bn (£6.4bn) of public funds – including £720m from the UK – to a new UN “Green Climate Fund” (GCF) to help developing nations.
China, which aligns itself with many of the poorest countries, has complained the total so far falls far short of a 2009 pledge by developed nations to mobilise $100bn-a-year of “climate finance” by 2020. “$10 billion is just one 10th of that objective,” Su Wei, China’s lead negotiator said, Bloomberg reported.
But Elina Bardram, head of the EU’s delegation dismissed the claim, insisting the $100bn was always intended to be mixture of public and private finance. The GCF was “by no means the only vehicle for delivering the $100bn,” she told reporters on Friday.
Countries also disagree about whether their individual pledges to tackle climate change should solely cover cutting emissions or should also bind rich nations to give cash to poorer countries to help them adapt.
Pledges are due in the first quarter of next year. Mr Davey, who will attend the second week of the talks, told the Telegraph he hoped Lima at least would result in agreement on what information countries must give about their planned emissions reductions so the world could “compare apples with apples”. But he said: “No one is under any illusions that by the time most countries have put forward their initial pledges … we will be well short of where we need to be.”
The UK hopes initial pledges will then be scrutinised and bettered, enabling “a deal in Paris that keeps the 2C limit within reach”, he said. […]
Benny Peiser, of the climate-sceptic Global Warming Policy Foundation described the summit as the “green blob’s annual ritual” and “an expensive form of mass tourism, never mind the carbon footprint”.
“More importantly, the ritual gathering isn’t going to overcome the underlying deadlock,” he said.
“The developing world will ask for a high price which will sink the deal in the US.” He said he believed any deal would not be legally-binding and that this would lead the EU to renege on its own carbon-cutting pledges. “In short, the deal that is now in the making won’t slow CO2 emissions and won’t bind any nation. But it will be sold as a breakthrough – as all agreements have been sold in the past,” he said.