Lima deal lets India fix emission cut target

Rich nations to help poor ones tackle global warming

Lima deal lets India fix emission cut target

The United Nations climate talks moved a step forward on Sunday as 194 countries adopted a compromise draft on national pledges to cut global carbon emissions.

It also addressed all of India’s concerns and paved the way for a binding agreement to be signed in Paris next year.

Commenting on the draft, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said: “All of India’s concerns have been addressed. We are happy that the final negotiated statement has addressed the concerns of developing countries... mainly, the efforts of some (developed) countries to rewrite the convention has not fructified,” Javadekar said.

He said the developed countries  will have to take responsibility for action in technology and capacity building and to that end they will have to provide resources. As agreed in the draft, countries would come up with their own emissions reduction targets, with a suggested deadline of March 31, 2014.

The agreement restored a promise to poorer countries that a “loss and damage” scheme would be established to help them cope with the financial implications of rising temperatures.

“The document is approved,” announced President of the United Nations climate talks Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, who is also the environment minister of Peru, after hectic negotiations by officials from 194 countries for about two weeks in the Peruvian capital here. “I think this is good, and I think this moves us forward. We have achieved targets and we got what we wanted,” he said after the delegates approved a broad blueprint for talks leading up to a deal in 2015, to take effect in 2020.

The deal — dubbed the Lima Call for Climate Action — was adopted hours after a previous draft was rejected by developing countries, which accused rich nations of shirking their responsibilities to fight global warming and pay for its impacts.

The final draft is said to have alleviated those concerns by saying that countries have “common but differentiated responsibilities”.

It reads that any Paris 2015 agreement should reflect “the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in light of different national circumstances.”

The talks proved difficult because of divisions between rich and poor countries over how to spread the burden of pledges to cut emissions.

The draft mentioned only that all pledges would be reviewed a month ahead of December 2015 Paris summit to assess their combined effect on climate change.

Christiana Figueres, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Executive Secretary, told reporters that the approved text is a sign of progression on closing the gaps between three key elements: Science, policy response and action.

Figueres also praised the new pledges to the Green Climate Fund, set up to assist developing countries in dealing with the effects of climate change, to approximately $10 billion.

The deal, however, weakened the language on national pledges, saying countries “may”, instead of “shall”, include quantifiable information showing how they intend to meet their emission targets.

Meanwhile, environmental groups were scathing in their response to the document, saying the proposals lack the seriousness needed to tackle the pressing issues.

Sam Smith, chief of climate policy for the environmental group WWF, said: “The text went from weak to weaker to the weakest.”

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