Peru the next step on road to Paris climate conference

Declared aim of talks is to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius

International government officials participating in the the UN climate convention in Bonn, which ended yesterday. Photograph: Matthias Balk/EPA

International government officials participating in the the UN climate convention in Bonn, which ended yesterday. Photograph: Matthias Balk/EPA

Sun, Jun 15, 2014, 21:49

The current phase of UN talks, as mandated by the Durban climate conference in 2012, is meant to conclude with an international treaty or other “legal outcome” at the Paris conference in 2015 to achieve the declared aim of keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.

Steps along the road to Paris include this year’s UN climate conference in Lima, Peru, at which the basic elements of a negotiating text are expected to be on the table – dealing not only with mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, but also adaptation and climate finance for developing countries.

By next March, at the latest, all countries are expected to submit their “intended nationally-determined contributions” to the overall goal, so that these can be parsed and analysed for their adequacy by all 195 parties to the UN’s climate change convention and by civil society representatives.

To give further impetus to the process, UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon is to host a one-day summit of world leaders in New York in late September, at which at least some of them are likely to spell out what their governments are prepared to do, particularly in terms of reducing emissions.

This will be followed by a further round of talks in Bonn – headquarters of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change – in late October as a prelude to this year’s UN conference in Lima, Peru, where delegates are expected to start negotiations in earnest on the content of a climate treaty.

There will then be further “inter-sessional” talks – most likely in Bonn, or in Bangkok, headquarters of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.

It will add up to a lot of air-miles for climate negotiators, civil society representatives and the media – but all in a good cause (naturally).