How Low Can you Go? Climate Talks in Lima
The meetings in Lima, Peru took place from 1 to 12 December 2014 being the 10th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP10). It was formally the 20th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP20) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. A major outcome expected from Lima was to specify “contributions” by countries – the language of “commitments” being a bit too hard for some. They are known as “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” or INDCs. A major issue of contention was whether the INDC deal with mitigation only, or also with adaptation and support (“support” meaning finance, technology and capacity‐building). The INDC decision gives some rhetorical reassurance to supporting adaptation. However, it is in preambular language, as a “determination to strengthen adaptation action” in the Paris Agreement. That reassurance belies the actual decision taken, which focuses INDCs very clearly on mitigation. The ‘heart of the bargain’ on climate change has been seen by major powers as being a deal on mitigation and finance. Lima seems to have reconfirmed again that the interests of smaller countries – including the Africa Group – which are primarily in adaptation – are not taken seriously.