After two weeks of talks widely slammed as lacking urgency, international delegates in Warsaw have paved the way for a global deal in 2015 to fight climate change.
Despite the criticism, COP19 President Marcin Korolec stressed what had been achieved:
“One hundred million dollars for an adaptation fund, a pledge of over six billion euros for climate financing,” he told a press conference. “We are agreed on a Warsaw international mechanism on loss and damage and have made a significant contribution to forest preservation and sustainable use.”
But no major nation offered tougher steps to slow world greenhouse gas emissions. So was it worth it?
“It is not possible to solve climate change with one meeting, with one COP, with one negotiation,” said Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. “It is imperative that every single one of these climate talks, of which we have one a year, is a very firm step forward in the right direction and we have been doing that over the past few years.”
Governments agreed that a new deal two years from now would see a patchwork of national contributions to curb emissions.That could blur a long-standing distinction between the obligations of rich and poor nations.
Under the Kyoto Protocol, only the most developed countries were required to limit emissions – a key reason why the US refused to accept it, saying fast growing economies like China should also take part.